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Jule
September 16th, 2016, 12:20 AM
Okay, I am REALLY nervous, guys. :D This little text is my first english text in years, and I don't know how many mistakes and awkward metaphors you will find in there because my only mothertongue is german. But nevertheless ... I just really want to share it with you.

It's also not a real short story, it's just a text that is very important to me because I tried to capture the feelings I had during my year in South Africa with these few words. I miss this country so much it sometimes hurts. I won't say much more because I think you have to read it for yourself. I will just leave one picture here so you can imagine the setting of the story.

I would be SO happy if you would leave your opinion here.



15509





When the crickets are chirping


She had been sitting here for a while, just watching her surroundings. The people of the little village on the eastern coast of South Africa readied themselves for the night, knowing that the daylight would soon be fading. Candle after candle was lit so that the windows of the little huts were dyed orange. A group of chatting women passed the hill where she sat, some of them balancing a bucket full of water on their heads. They were returning to their home after an exhausting day and brought a soft evening with them. The sun, hanging closely above the horizon, imbued the fog that was creeping through the little village with tired colors.

It had been a hot day. Dust wafted across the gravel road which curled itself around the gentle green hills. It would take hours to get to the next city. This village was far away from any skyscrapers and loud highways. Only distant lowing and the voices of her neighbours reached Suzake’s ears.

Suzake glanced at her family’s hut – the roof was made out of grass and leaked in some places.
Sakha indlu ngomhlaba nemithi. We built a hut from earth and wood. That’s what her father had said after their new home was finally standing next to their old flat. Suzake could barely remember these times, it was just too long ago.
Suddenly, a chicken came out of the doorway and started to run across her mother’s trodden garden. It seemed to be very excited about something of which Suzake was unaware.

She smiled. She liked these creatures. Nobody understood why and everyone made fun of her for being this way, but she had always loved the animals of this village. Suzake still remembered one particular cold morning many years ago when her family’s dog had been lying in the street with eyes that couldn’t see the sunrise. Until then she hadn’t even known that living beings die at one point. Crying frantically, Suzake had been sitting beside the corpse until her brother began to tease her.
Now there was another dog strewing about their property. Suzake was sure that he was the most beautiful dog of the whole village with his black shaggy fur and his nebulous, half-blind eyes. Her father didn’t like it when she came close to the dog and punished her for it. “You bring all the fleas and ticks into this family!”, he would yell at her, and deep down she knew he was right.

“Suzake! Yiza apha! Ndiyalinda!”

She leaped up and turned around. Her mother Makhanye was standing at the foot of the hill. Suzake knew Makhanye was calling her for dinner, but she didn’t want to leave this hill yet. Here she had the best view over the village and could even see the tiny shop three hills farther - sometimes she saved two Rand to buy a Magwinya or even some delicious sweets in this cramped store.
Her mother was standing so firmly down there though that Suzake didn’t dare to ignore her call. Reluctantly she obeyed.

On the short walk home, one of the neighbours came a little too close to Makhanye. He seemed disorientated.
“Sho, Ndiyeke mna!” her mother said sternly, “uyasela kakhulu!”
Suzake didn’t know the man’s name but she knew that he was drinking a lot of Umqombothi every day. He always smelled of the sour beer that he got from the Shebeen, the only bar in the village.
Soon he staggered off in another direction, leaving mother and daughter alone.

The warmth of the sun had abandoned the uneven stone floor under her naked feet. The wind freshened up, carrying the cool air from the sea across the land. Suzake was thankful for the hot Umngqusho her mother had cooked for the family. The samp and beans filled her stomach, leaving behind a pleasant saturation. Only then the tiredness began to kick in.
Some minutes later Suzake sat on the bench beside her brother Philasande and was struggling to keep her eyes open. Flickers of pictures flashed through her mind, reminding her of the fun day she had been having with her friends. Her parents talked about getting some groceries tomorrow and the sound of their familiar voices calmed her, lulled her to sleep. She didn’t notice anymore how her aunt smiled at the sight of her while her heavy head was sinking onto Philasande’s shoulder.

Suzake woke up in a warm bed next to her siblings. It was very dark. No candles were burning anymore. There was a great stillness in the world. She took a deep breath and inhaled the smell of wood.
Carefully she stood up and toddled to one of the scratched windows. She startled a small cat which darted away from her.
There were countless stars in the sky. As always she got dizzy just by looking at them and quickly lowered her glance to examine the barely perceptible herd of cows that had settled beside the fence surrounding mother’s garden.

Suzake was afraid of the dark. She had always been afraid of the dark and nothing could have changed this. But she also loved the moon. And she could only see it during the night. So her love for this old satellite was always mixed with a distinct sensation of fear – a phenomenon that wasn’t as unusual as she thought.
With a pounding heart she dared to stand by the window for a couple of minutes. But eventually the longing for the safe bed was too overwhelming and she had to tear her eyes away from the pale face of the moon. Back in bed she tried to crawl under the blanket without waking anybody. Her sister sighed in her sleep and finally Suzake was once again lying in a comfortable position.

Outside a dog started to bark. Another dog barked back and Suzake instantly knew who this other dog was. She recognized the typical bay of her beloved black-haired guard and grinned into her pillow.
A while after it was silent again, she could only hear the muted sound of hooves while the cows were ripping out grass to chew on. Feeling secure, Suzake fell asleep with a faint smile on her lips.

In her dreams, Suzake was the ocean. She breathed in and out with every wave that came and went. Her lungs turned into water. Her veins were rivers. Her heart was the moon.
There was no such thing as time.
Then, in her sleep, quite silently, she became the world.

Phil Istine
September 16th, 2016, 01:47 PM
Your words paint pictures in my mind and I find it easy to imagine the scenes that you are describing.
I can tell that English is not your first language, but it is also true that many native English speakers would not be able to write like this.
I enjoyed reading it.
Thank you.

DATo
September 16th, 2016, 04:51 PM
This is a beautiful painting in words of the village and people you describe. There is no story to speak of but yet it was a vivid and entrancing post card of your memories. I sense the feelings you allude to in your prologue. Did you know Suzake and her family in real life or was this story a mosaic of your general feelings brought together in one composition? If English is not your first language I wish I could read the work you have done in German. Very nicely written and thank you for sharing with us! [:- )

(*Whispering* In the third paragraph "leak" should be "leaked".)

Jule
September 16th, 2016, 05:56 PM
*Happy Jule*

@Phil Istine: Thanks so much for reading through the story and commenting on it! I am very glad that you easily imagined the scenes I included. I wasn't sure if I wrote everything in the right way and since you also said you could tell English is not my native language, there must have been some passages that sounded weird because I used the wrong words, wrong tense or the wrong grammar xD Are there many of them or just a few? It would be so amazing if I could find these mistakes. :'D I am extremely perfectionistic. xD
Thanks again!!!

@DATo: Thank you too, I appreciate your kind words very much! It's wonderful to know that you could sense the feelings I tried to convey with this text.
I didn't know Suzake and her family, but I knew many children like her and I just miss so many of these vibrant little souls that I had the honor of meeting. And I decided for this setting because I really loved the evenings in this village. They were kind of peaceful and calmed me down like nothing can calm me down where I grew up. I got to know a totally different way of being calm there. No electricity, no internet. Just life as it was.

If English is not your first language I wish I could read the work you have done in German.
:love-struck: This is music to my ears. Now I wish you could speak German. :D But well ... who knows... maybe one day I will have the money to translate my novels ... and then I will write you! :'D
The whispered advice was very useful, thank you, I will correct it immediately! If there are more mistakes, please don't hesitate to tell me xD

Phil Istine
September 16th, 2016, 06:06 PM
*Happy Jule*

@Phil Istine: Thanks so much for reading through the story and commenting on it! I am very glad that you easily imagined the scenes I included. I wasn't sure if I wrote everything in the right way and since you also said you could tell English is not my native language, there must have been some passages that sounded weird because I used the wrong words, wrong tense or the wrong grammar xD Are there many of them or just a few? It would be so amazing if I could find these mistakes. :'D I am extremely perfectionistic. xD
Thanks again!!!



They are few in number and relatively minor. Some are not actual errors, but a way of wording that a native speaker would not use.
If you wish, I could go through the work and show them to you.
Your English is far better than my German :) .

Jule
September 16th, 2016, 07:32 PM
If you had the time that would be terrific! I would be really thankful for that!!!
And German is far more difficult than English :D

Phil Istine
September 17th, 2016, 07:07 AM
When the crickets are chirping [When the Crickets are Chirping] titles usually have the more significant words capitalised She had been sitting (there or here?)(t?)here [now](not needed) for a while, just watching her surroundings. The people of the little village [at](should be 'on') the east(+ern - this is optional, but possibly sounds better) coast of South Africa [got ready for the night, knowing that not much light was left for them](this isn't wrong but sounds a bit clumsy. Something like '... readied themselves for the night, knowing that the daylight would soon be fading ... There are many possible ways of writing this part.). Candle after candle was [lightened] lit so that the windows of the little huts were dyed orange. A group of chatting women passed the hill [she was sitting on] (not wrong, but something like 'where she sat' might sound a bit better), some of them balancing a bucket full of water on their heads. They were returning to their home after an exhausting day and brought a soft evening with them. [The sun, hanging closely above the horizon, imbued the fog that was creeping through the little village with tired colors.] Very poetic! I can picture this. The structure is correct, though possibly, fewer words would be better. It had been a hot day. Dust wafted across the gravel road which curled [itself](I like the way you have used curl as a reflexive verb - appearing to give life to the road) around the gentle green hills. It would take hours to get to the next city. This village was far away from any skyscrapers and loud highways. Only distant lowing and the voices of her neighbours reached Suzake[']s(apostrophe to show possession) ears. Suzake glanced at the hut of her family (optional - her family's hut) – the roof [was out of grass](options - was made out of grass ... or possibly 'roof consisted of grass') and leaked in some places. Sakha indlu ngomhlaba nemithi. We built a hut from earth and wood. That’s what [her father had said after their new home had finally been standing next to their old flat](you have used two instances of the pluperfect tense (had+verb) and it doesn't sound quite right. Perhaps '... her father had said after their new home finally stood next to their old flat ... or '...her father had said after their new home was finally standing next to their old flat ...' I think the second version is slightly better, but some English speakers may disagree with me on this.)]. Suzake could barely remember these times, it was just too long ago. Suddenly[,] a chicken came out of the doorway and started to run across [the trodden garden of her mother](not wrong, but 'her mother's trodden garden' sounds better. 'Trodden' doesn't sound like quite the right word, but that's more about style than language - possibly). It seemed to be very excited about something [that Suzake didn’t know about]. (again, not wrong but something like 'of which Suzake was unaware' might be better). It is usually better to avoid ending a sentence with a preposition. Some feel that this is a rigid rule. However, there are times when it's hard to avoid. Also, sometimes a writer's style makes it 'allowable'. She smiled. She liked these creatures. Nobody understood why and everyone made fun of her for being this way, but she had always loved the animals of this village. Suzake still remembered one particular cold morning many years ago when [the dog of her family](not wrong but 'her family's dog' or even 'the family dog' would be better ('family dog' sounds a little less loving though) had been lying in the street with eyes that couldn’t see the sunrise. Until then she hadn’t even known that living beings die at one point. Crying frantically[,] Suzake had been sitting beside the corpse until her brother began to tease her [about it].(not wrong but not needed, as the context shows the reason for teasing) Now there was another dog [strewing]I'm not sure that this is quite the right word, but I think I understand what you are trying to convey. strewing+object is more usual, but strewing without object is, perhaps, acceptable in a slightly poetic sense) about their property. Suzake was sure that he was the most beautiful dog of the whole village with his black shaggy fur and his nebulous(I love this description. Is this describing that the dog had cataracts - or similar?), half blind (should be half-blind) eyes. Her father didn’t like it when she came close to the dog and punished her for it. “You bring all the fleas and ticks into this family!”[,])I don't think this comma should be here, but may be wrong :) ) he would yell at her[,] and deep down she knew he was right. “Suzake! Yiza apha! Ndiyalinda!” She leaped up and turned around. Her mother Makhanye was standing at the foot of the hill. Suzake knew Makhanye was calling her for dinner, but she didn’t want to leave this hill yet. Here she had the best view over the village and could even see the tiny shop three hills [further](I think this should be farther. In general, farther is about distance and further is about concept (for example - further education). I understand there may be exceptions to this rule, but I didn't understand them. Many native English speakers confuse the two.) - sometimes she saved two Rand to buy a Magwinya or even some delicious sweets in this cramped store. Her mother was standing so firmly down there though that Suzake didn’t dare to ignore her call. Reluctantly she obeyed. I will leave it there for the moment as I wouldn't want the browser to crash and lose it. I know there is a lot of red, but most of it is about minor edits. Some of it is just my opinion and others may disagree. You use the construction '... of the ...' rather a lot to show possession. I realise this happens in German as I studied the language for two years - a long time ago. I know that German occasionally uses des +s on the noun (without an apostrophe), though I think this is now regarded as old-fashioned. The 'von dem/der' construction is more popular. However, in English, the " 's" method (with apostrophe) is still in common use and shows no sign of leaving us. '... of the ...' is used in English, but is far less popular. It is many years since I studied the German language - my limit was translating part of some story called "Der Kaliff von Baghdad" :) Even though English is not your first language, your ability to paint a scene shines through your words. Please don't be discouraged by all the red - I use too many words :)

Bard_Daniel
September 18th, 2016, 07:46 AM
This was a very interesting piece and I think you show potential as a writer. Phil has mentioned some great suggestions as well.

Thanks for the read!

Pippin65
September 19th, 2016, 02:54 PM
I enjoyed it. I would have written "balancing buckets" as I love the alliterative sound of these two words.
Nevertheless, well done.

Jule
September 19th, 2016, 06:12 PM
@Phil Istine
Oh my god, you have no idea how thankful I am for your detailed comments. You should be a teacher. I understood everything and was even under the impression that I got a better feeling for the English language (which probably isn't true because I have to lean SO much and until I will notice a change there is still lots of practice to do. :'D) It was also really interesting to read through your comments because I had the feeling I could understand the meaning of some words so much better. I love languages (as may have noticed in the short story, the language used there is "Xhosa", a beautiful click language spoken in South Africa) and it was so much fun to again see what subtle and tiny differences there are from word to word. I hope one day I will be able to write in the English language.
And ah yes, I have some problems with the English tenses. Haha. I just hope the rest of the text isn't as bad xD
I will take over like 95 percent of your suggestions :D I hope that's okay. Because the changes all make sense. I wish I could pay you back somehow for the time you have invested into this comment, but I doubt I will be able to leave such good criticism. I can try though, haha.
Thank you as well for your kind words inbetween, I was grinning a lot :D I am so happy, ah. I feel very inspired. Just want to write again xD

@danielstj: Thanks so much! Yeah, his comment is amazing!

@Pippin65: Thank you! Indeed, that sounds good! I didn't know you can say this, cause obviously they can only carry one bucket per person, right? xD But alright, if you can write it like this, I will change it! Love alliterations as well.


*Still very happy Jule*

Phil Istine
September 19th, 2016, 06:31 PM
@Phil Istine
Oh my god, you have no idea how thankful I am for your detailed comments. You should be a teacher. I understood everything and was even under the impression that I got a better feeling for the English language (which probably isn't true because I have to lean SO much and until I will notice a change there is still lots of practice to do. :'D) It was also really interesting to read through your comments because I had the feeling I could understand the meaning of some words so much better. I love languages (as may have noticed in the short story, the language used there is "Xhosa", a beautiful click language spoken in South Africa) and it was so much fun to again see what subtle and tiny differences there are from word to word. I hope one day I will be able to write in the English language.
<SNIP>


I realise that there was a lot of red, but the changes mentioned were quite minor. I do love your style. Obviously I was unable to edit the Xhosa because I don't know that language. One issue when going between German and English is that different prepositions are often used. Also, German often sticks the preposition to the verb, and separates them again if the word order demands it - sometimes inserting a "zu" between them.
However, I think English is a harder language to master than German - for a non-native writer. Although German has many forms of "the", "a", "this and "that" - with similar changes in adjective endings, the rules do seem more rigid to me. English is even more challenging when spoken, due to our inconsistent pronunciation.

Jule
September 20th, 2016, 12:57 AM
I repeat myself, but it's so interesting to read what you have to say about this. I am glad you stumbled across this thread.
And it wasn't that much, I have edited a whole book over and over again to finally sent it to the company and to allow the company to publish it, so I am used to lots of comments :D And the criticism wasn't really formulated in such a nice way as you formulate your suggestions. So no worries, I enjoyed your red words :D
But I don't know about the thing which language is harder. Because I sometimes even struggle with German - and it's my native language, haha. But English is challenging nevertheless. I am just really motivated to learn to write well in English.
Just on question: Is there any metaphor in the rest of the text that I wrote in a wrong way because I misunderstood the meaning of a word? :'D

Edit: Oh, and I already asked a native speaker of Xhosa if the sentences were correct, and they were luckily ^_^ I tried to learn the language a little bit, but of course I could never speak it fluently, never. :'D The Xhosa in this story was basic and simple Xhosa. I just really enjoyed bringing this language into the text. I miss it so much.

Phil Istine
September 20th, 2016, 05:26 AM
Edit: Oh, and I already asked a native speaker of Xhosa if the sentences were correct, and they were luckily ^_^ I tried to learn the language a little bit, but of course I could never speak it fluently, never. :'D The Xhosa in this story was basic and simple Xhosa. I just really enjoyed bringing this language into the text. I miss it so much.

I don't have time at the moment but, if you wish, I will go through the rest of the text in the next couple of days.

Jule
September 20th, 2016, 05:36 PM
That would be so nice of you!!! *___*

Phil Istine
September 27th, 2016, 03:00 PM
Hi again Jule. As promised, though later than intended, I will run through the rest of the piece. I have some unexpected free time as I am rained off from work this afternoon.



[On the short way home a seemingly disorientated neighbour came a little too close to Makhanye.]This sentence is technically correct, but it feels as if you are trying to cram too much into one sentence and it sounds a bit clumsy. I suggest two sentences. Something like: On the short walk (better than way) home, one of Makhanye's neighbours came a little too close. He seemed (or appeared) disorientated. You can have "short walk" or "way", but "short way" just doesn't sound good.
“Ndiyeke mna!”[,]no comma her mother said in a very sternly, “uyasela kakhulu.”
Suzake didn’t know the [name of this man]not wrong but man's name sounds a bit better but she knew that he was drinking a lot of Umqombothi every day. He always smelled of the sour beer that he got from the Shebeen, the only bar [of]in the village.
Soon he staggered [into]into is wrong preposition. You can have "in" but "off in" would be far better - staggered off in another direction. another direction, leaving mother and daughter alone.

The warmth of the sun had abandoned the uneven stone[space]floor under her naked feet.[sounds a little awkward but it's a good attempt] The wind freshened up, carrying the cool air from the sea across the land.[I like this] Suzake was thankful for the hot Umngqusho her mother had cooked for the family. The samp and beans filled her stomach, leaving behind a pleasant [saturation]I think think may not be the right word, but I an uncertain what you wish to say]. Only then the tiredness began to kick in.
Some minutes later Suzake sat on the bench beside her brother[,]? Philasande[,]? and was struggling to keep her eyes open. [Shreds]is this the right word? maybe Flickers? - or something else? of pictures flashed through her mind, reminding her of the fun day she [had had]not wrong, but "had been having" may be a little better. This is more about style choice though, I feel. with her friends. Her parents talked about getting some groceries tomorrow and the sound of their familiar voices wrapped her up, calmed her, lulled her to sleep. She didn’t notice anymore how her aunt smiled at the sight of her[,]possible comma while her heavy head was sinking onto Philasande[']s possessive apostrophe shoulder.

Suzake woke up in a warm bed next to her siblings. It was very dark. No [candle was]you could get away with this (just), but "candles were" is probably better burning anymore. There was a great stillness in the world.[I like this] She took a deep breath and smelled the [wood of the hut.] doesn't sound quite right but I'm uncertain what to suggest. It depends what you wish to show.
Carefully she stood up and toddled to one of the scratched windows. She startled a small cat which [soundlessly]not wrong but it would be less awkward if you removed this word darted away from her.
There were countless stars in the sky. [As always she got dizzy just by looking at them and quickly lowered her glance to examine the barely perceptible herd of cows that had settled beside the fence [which surrounded]surrounding mother[']s possessive apostrophe garden.]not wrong but you may wish to break this into two sentences

Suzake was afraid of the dark. She had always been afraid of the dark and nothing could have changed this. But she also loved the moon. And she could only see it during the night. So her love for this old satellite was always mixed with a distinct sensation of fear – a phenomenon that wasn’t as unusual as she thought it was.well written, but you can safely remove "it was" from the end
With a pounding heart she dared to stand by the window for a couple of minutes. But eventually the longing for the safe bed was too overwhelming and she had to tear her eyes away from the pale face of the moon. Back in bed she tried to crawl under the blanket without waking anybody [up]up not needed this time. Her sister sighed in her sleep and finally Suzake was lying in a comfortable position again.this reads quite well and is technically correct. It may look better if you remove "too" from before "overwhelming" because overwhelming already indicates the "too". It's not wrong to leave it in though. Also, "Suzake was once again lying comfortably" may be a slight improvement. These are about style though as the English is acceptable.

Outside a dog started to bark. Another dog barked back and Suzake instantly knew who this other dog was. She recognized the typical bay of her beloved black[-]haired black-haired [safety] guard and grinned into her pillow.safety can be removed. not wrong but probably sounds better
Some time after it was silent again[,]add comma she could only hear the muted sound of hooves while the cows were ripping out grass to chew on. Feeling [absolutely]not wrong, but possibly not needed secure, Suzake fell asleep with a faint smile on her lips.

The ocean [breathed in and out.] not wrong but are you looking for "sighed"? - or something else perhaps

-------------------------------------------------------------
I've tried to look at this from the perspective of showing correct English. However, I have also made a few suggestions on style without imposing my style on yours - a difficult balance. Some on here may disagree with some of my suggestions.
I use British English as used in south-eastern England. People who use other styles of English may see this differently. All I am saying is, please don't take what I have written as being the absolute last word.

Jule
September 28th, 2016, 01:03 AM
Thank you thank you thank you!!! *_* This is so amazingly detailed!!! I love that you also comment about style improvements!

I think think may not be the right word, but I an uncertain what you wish to say

Yeah, I wanted to use a word that expresses the feeling when you are pleasantly full after eating :D

doesn't sound quite right but I'm uncertain what to suggest. It depends what you wish to show.

Well, I just want to tell the reader that it smells like wood or/and dry grass in the hut :)

She startled a small cat which [soundlessly]not wrong but it would be less awkward if you removed this word darted away from her.

Can I maybe say (...) which darted away from her without making any sound. ? I just love how cats can be so silent while doing quick movements :D

not wrong but are you looking for "sighed"? - or something else perhaps

No, I actually really wanted to describe how the waves of the ocean are moving a little bit like lungs. You know what I mean? When I was there, laying in my bed, I could hear the waves from far away and it kind of felt like the ocean was breathing. It was so calm.

It was so very understandable, your whole comment, and I wish I could pay you so that you edit my novel once it's translated into the english language xDD Haha.
Thank you so much!!!

Phil Istine
September 28th, 2016, 01:43 AM
"Yeah, I wanted to use a word that expresses the feeling when you are pleasantly full after eating"

",leaving her satisfied" may be sufficient then - or maybe pleasantly satisfied.

------------------------------------------------
Would the following work for you?

"Feeling secure, Suzake fell asleep to the ocean's rhythmic breathing.
Her lips displayed a faint smile."

I'm hesitant to change it around this much because the style should be yours.

I will need to think some more about the other points you raise.

Phil Istine
September 29th, 2016, 10:59 AM
I have given a little more thought to this.
The wood and grass may possibly be described as having a "musty" smell. This is because you have already stated that there are leaks - and musty can indicate dampness or mould (mold as you appear to be using American English). There may be better words that musty, but it's the best fit I could think of.

As for the cat, I was trying to figure out a word that means soundless, but at speed. There are words for soundless at a slow pace, but soundless at speed isn't so easy. My best suggestion is to replace 'soundlessly' with 'noiselessly'. It's difficult to say why, but I think it feels slightly better.

More generally, when writing English, it is usually better to try reducing the number of adverbs (usually ending in -ly, like German -lich). Instead of these, it is often better to use a more powerful verb, because it can make the writing (and reading) experience richer. However, sometimes a particular verb may not exist, or may be too obscure for your intended target audience. An example: walked noiselessly may be represented by crept, sneaked, stalked - and probably many other words, depending on the context.

EDIT: I would welcome some feedback from other forum members, especially if you have some other alternatives.

Jule
September 30th, 2016, 12:14 AM
I could follow your words very well, thanks for thinking about this!!!
I looked the word "musty" up and I know what you mean, but it did not smell like this. It smelled dry. Not like the grass was wet. Nothing like that :)
Alright, thanks for going into the "soundlessly" thing, I left it out now xD I guess you are right, sometimes it's better to just use fewer words (or different words). Thanks again!! I appreciate your effort so very much :)


Edit: Oh, I didn't see your comments about the ending of the story. Well, as much as I really loved all your suggestions, this one doesn't really match with the feeling I want to "transfer" with the story. I just want to end it with the breathing of the ocean. Not more. There is nothing rhythmic about it, because it is soft and it has no abrupt endings or beginnings. Its fluent, because its water :)) Do you know what I mean? What don't you like that much about the last sentence? Is it weird to say it like that? I am so confused :D Would it work better if I say

The ocean sighed.

? xD Even if that's not what I actually want to say, because its just breathing, not one sigh.

Or:

In her dreams, Suzake was the ocean. She breathed in and out with every wave that came and left. Her lungs turned into water. Her veins were rivers. Her heart was the moon.
There was no such thing as time.
Then, in her sleep, quite silently, she became the world.



:D God, its soooo late, but I just hope this is correct. :D

Phil Istine
September 30th, 2016, 04:17 AM
What don't you like that much about the last sentence? Is it weird to say it like that? I am so confused :D Would it work better if I say

The ocean sighed.

? xD Even if that's not what I actually want to say, because its just breathing, not one sigh.

Or:

In her dreams, Suzake was the ocean. She breathed in and out with every wave that came and left. Her lungs turned into water. Her veins were rivers. Her heart was the moon.
There was no such thing as time.
Then, in her sleep, quite silently, she became the world.



:D God, its soooo late, but I just hope this is correct. :D

I'm not saying that I didn't like it, but the original version of the last sentence felt too abrupt for someone who was drifting into sleep. Maybe something like, "She drifted away to the ocean's distant breathing." would have worked.
However, the new version of your ending is absolutely wonderful and a delight to read. It's the sort of thing I might have suggested, but I was trying to keep as close to your original as possible because I am trying to avoid imposing my own style. The only modification I would suggest is for "came and left." "Came and went" would possibly be slightly better. How about "ebbed and flowed"? Also, maybe "turned into water" could be "became water." There is nothing wrong with what you have written. I am merely offering possible suggestions for fine tuning.
I wish my German was better as I would love to read it in that language too :)

Jule
October 1st, 2016, 12:14 PM
Phew, I am so happy that you like the new ending! You're right, it does sound better this way.
I also changed it to "came and went" ... I was fighting with myself when I wrote it and didn't know if "left" was fitting, so now I know that it wasn't :D Thank you!!!
I wouldn't write "became" because I used this term in the last sentence :)
Ahhh yes I would wish that too. It's such a nice compliment. But I think I will let somebody translate my novel and then you can read it!

Phil Istine
October 1st, 2016, 02:11 PM
Phew, I am so happy that you like the new ending! You're right, it does sound better this way.
I also changed it to "came and went" ... I was fighting with myself when I wrote it and didn't know if "left" was fitting, so now I know that it wasn't :D Thank you!!!
I wouldn't write "became" because I used this term in the last sentence :)
Ahhh yes I would wish that too. It's such a nice compliment. But I think I will let somebody translate my novel and then you can read it!

Thank you for allowing me to go through your work. I benefit too as it helps me to become a better writer. 'Left' tends to go with 'arrived' and 'went' with 'came', though I'm sure there may be exceptions somewhere :) .
Something else I noticed - the use of 'got' and 'get'. There is nothing wrong with them, but it is usually better to change things and choose a stronger verb if possible.

I need to mention one more thing. You have put your writing in the "General Fiction" section of the forum. This section is visible to search engines and may mean that your work would be regarded as published. This may mean that you would have difficulty persuading a publisher to publish your work. If future publication is your intention, I suggest posting your work in the "Members only workshop" section under the Prose Writers' Workshop (http://www.writingforums.com/forums/11-Prose-Writers-Workshop) . That part of the forum is hidden from search engines and non-members.

Jule
October 2nd, 2016, 11:10 AM
Thanks again for the comments! It seems I am learning something new with every new post that you write :D

Oh, yes, thank you for telling me. Didn't want to publish this little story, but the story I am writing and want to publish is written in German anyway and won't be posted here :D So that's no issue for me, haha.

hghwriting
October 2nd, 2016, 06:27 PM
I liked your piece alot and found your english to be really good. I appreciate other non-english natives seeking to master the language. Well done!

Jule
October 3rd, 2016, 04:13 PM
Hey hghwriting! Thank you so much for your comment! Made me really happy :) Phil Istine helped me a lot to improve the text! :) And with people like you that motivate me I am always inspired to learn more and more! Thank you!