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Need some help with the sentence. (1 Viewer)

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Puellamagi

Senior Member
The sentence:

Sisters died one by one, and those who lived longer wrote tributes for those who had perished faster.

THe problem is that ugly double repetition "those who", and I am struggling to avoid using it. Any ideas?
 

Bloggsworth

WF Veterans
One by one the sisters die, each leaving a tribute to their dead siblings... Not sure what you do about the first to perish!
 

MistWolf

Senior Member
The sentence:

Sisters died one by one, and those who lived longer wrote tributes for those who had perished faster.

THe problem is that ugly double repetition "those who", and I am struggling to avoid using it. Any ideas?

Sisters died, one by one, leaving the survivors to write their tributes.
 

luckyscars

WF Veterans
The sentence:

Sisters died one by one, and those who lived longer wrote tributes for those who had perished faster.

THe problem is that ugly double repetition "those who", and I am struggling to avoid using it. Any ideas?

I don't think it's necessarily ugly. There's nothing wrong with using repetition as a literary device so long as it sounds vaguely intentional and isn't annoyingly excessive.

From your recent posts, I get a strong sense you are overthinking this.
 

Backstroke_Italics

Senior Member
I agree that this repetition could sound just fine if it's intentional. The sentence could easily be rewritten: "Sister died one by one, and the survivors wrote tributes to the dead." If that sentence feels lik it's missing something, then you're probably better off with the original.
 

TheMightyAz

Staff member
Mentor
The sentence:

Sisters died one by one, and those who lived longer wrote tributes for those who had perished faster.

THe problem is that ugly double repetition "those who", and I am struggling to avoid using it. Any ideas?

Instead of rewriting the sentence, I'd consider creating a new one. 'perished faster' isn't a strong ending and it's ambiguous. It could mean those who died first but it leans more heavily on faster as in 'sudden heart attack' V 'slow death from cancer'.

Rather than rewrite this, which will only compound the problem, rethink it.
 

druid12000

Senior Member
The sentence:

Sisters died one by one, and those who lived longer wrote tributes for those who had perished faster.

THe problem is that ugly double repetition "those who", and I am struggling to avoid using it. Any ideas?

The sisters died one by one, each survivor wrote tributes for those who had succumbed.
 

bdcharles

Wɾ¡ʇ¡∩9
Staff member
Media Manager
The sentence:

Sisters died one by one, and those who lived longer wrote tributes for those who had perished faster.

THe problem is that ugly double repetition "those who", and I am struggling to avoid using it. Any ideas?

I don't mind the "those who"s. For me, the knocking noise is the "faster". It makes it too much of a repetition with "longer", destroys the subtlety of the device, and is a little bit of an odd word choice. It could work with the voice, and it may be accurate in the realm of your story, but you need to maintain the voice for that. Here's a couple of suggestions:

Sisters died one by one, and those who lived longer wrote tributes for those who had perished before.
Sisters died one by one, and those who lived longer wrote tributes for their kin who had perished faster.

The sisters died one by one, each survivor wrote tributes for those who had succumbed.

Mmm ... the comma splice flubbs it for me, tbh.
 

TheMightyAz

Staff member
Mentor
I've suggested you rethink this sentence completely so thought I'd explain why:

Sisters died one by one, and those who lived longer wrote tributes for those who had perished faster.


Sisters died one by one: Are they likely to die simultaneously? Off course they're going to die 'one by one'.
Those who lived longer: Some have to live longer of course because the sisters aren't going to die similtaniously.
perished faster: As I said, this is more in line with the speed an illness/accident kills.

Those three things are leading this sentence astray, and no amount of rewriting will remove them. As I said, rethink it. :)

In all honesty, I think this should be a paragraph, not a sentence.
 
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druid12000

Senior Member
I don't mind the "those who"s. For me, the knocking noise is the "faster". It makes it too much of a repetition with "longer", destroys the subtlety of the device, and is a little bit of an odd word choice. It could work with the voice, and it may be accurate in the realm of your story, but you need to maintain the voice for that. Here's a couple of suggestions:

Sisters died one by one, and those who lived longer wrote tributes for those who had perished before.
Sisters died one by one, and those who lived longer wrote tributes for their kin who had perished faster.



Mmm ... the comma splice flubbs it for me, tbh.

I thought the same thing after I posted, but was more concerned with the 'perished faster' portion.

Personally, I would have two separate sentences. The sisters died one by one. Each survivor wrote tributes for those who had succumbed.
 

TheMightyAz

Staff member
Mentor
I thought the same thing after I posted, but was more concerned with the 'perished faster' portion.

Personally, I would have two separate sentences. The sisters died one by one. Each survivor wrote tributes for those who had succumbed.

Yeah, it needs to be broken down into at least two sentences. I know all too well how trying to get once sentence to do too much can have you doing somersaults to 'make it work'.
 

MistWolf

Senior Member
Sisters died one by one, and those who lived longer wrote tributes for those who had perished faster.

First, let's "un-thesaurus" the sentence to see where the repeats are.
Sisters died one by one, and those who lived longer wrote tribute for those who had died faster.

Now, let's bold the repeats and italicize words used to support the repeats
Sisters died one by one, and those who lived longer wrote tributes for those who had died faster.

Next, we condense the repeats and remove support words
Sisters died one by one and those who lived longer wrote tributes.

Can we tighten it further?
Sisters died, one by one and the survivors wrote tributes.

We're left with the essence of the sentence, which is Sisters died. Survivors wrote tributes.

I'm ok with "died one by one" because they could have died all at once, instead of over time. My impression from the sentence is members of the Sisterhood have died over time and no new sisters have joined the order. Boiled down to its essence, it's a bleak, heartbreaking summation of the Order's situation.

Let's see what it looks like as two sentences-

Sisters died, one by one. The survivors wrote tributes.

One last stab-
Dead sisters moldered. The living engraved tributes.
 
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Olly Buckle

Mentor
Patron
Definitely 'sooner' rather than 'faster' as the last word if you want to keep the form.
Repetition is a recognised rhetorical device, think of Churchill "We shall fight them at sea, we shall fight them on the beaches we shall fight them in the fields and the countryside, we shall fight them in the towns and the cities. We shall never surrender ", I might not have got it word perfect, but it makes for powerful stuff.
 

TheMightyAz

Staff member
Mentor
Over the ages, each sister died, their grief stricken sisters left with nothing more than eulogy.

You could use 'passed' instead of 'died' if there's a strong cultural sense of 'after life'.

Over the ages, each sister passed, their grief stricken sisters left with nothing more than eulogy.

I prefer the second sentence. 'Passed' has more gravitas and does a little more work.
 
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