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Post Your Snippets For Craft Help Here (4 Viewers)

TheMightyAz

Mentor
Ah, right, I meant to answer that as well. The Olympians cursed them multiple times in retaliation for staying behind. Hephestus made 100 swords actually capable of killing the Godline and handed them out just before he left. Then Ares left a strife curse that made all of them more prone to violence. (Those curses did get resolved when one of the rulers sacrificed himself to destroy the swords). But almost immediately after that (ten years), Hera got mad at how the latest ruler was ignoring the prophecies (basically the way the Olympians have been trying to give directives to rule their descendants from afar) and she cursed the Godline with infertility (only allowing pregnancies in those she approves of for some reason). Godline magic is disappearing because the gods have terrible attention spans and the more time that passes, the more they forget to bless the few births that do happen (even though the gods are pissed at their descendants, they're also pretty vain and enjoy flaunting the talents of their descendants.)

So yeah...I'm trying to figure out how to get the essence of that across, understandably, in a phrase or a sentence. :)
I really wouldn't worry about detail in the summary. You just need the essence of what happened and leave the actual story to fill in the detail:

The Godline population has since dwindled, victims of a cursed war, and their magical gifts have become rare.
 

Ajoy

Senior Member
Here is a revision...

When the Olympian Gods left Earth two millennia ago, some of their descendants refused to follow—creating the Godline on Atlantis. After a series of retaliatory curses by the gods, Godline population has dwindled and their magical gifts have become rare. In desperation, their queen has resorted to forced participation in her experiments to return their magic.

When Alexa Delmon’s magic manifests near the end of her sophomore year at college, it isn’t long before her parents are forced to admit she isn’t human. She isn’t even a Nymph like them or anyone else in the Alaskan village where she was raised. She's a Godline fugitive.

Unable to rest because of the vivid dreams now consuming her nights, she reluctantly returns home for help. But just as she begins to unravel the truth, an Atlantian hunter comes for Alexa, intent on returning her to the queen. When her parents stay behind to hold off the threat, it gives Alexa and her sister enough time to flee with an unexpected ally—the prince of Atlantis.

The trio arrive in a new city with only the promise of meeting some mysterious Godline mentor. But Alexa isn’t sure how long they have before her out-of-control magic brings the hunter down on them again.
 

TheMightyAz

Mentor
Here is a revision...

When the Olympian Gods left Earth two millennia ago, some of their descendants refused to follow—creating the Godline on Atlantis. After a series of retaliatory curses by the gods, Godline population has dwindled and their magical gifts have become rare. In desperation, their queen has resorted to forced participation in her experiments to return their magic.

This is definitely tighter but you've mentioned the Gods left and then, in the next sentence, 'after' a series of retaliatory curses. There's a slight discrepancy in the timeline there. If they left, they wouldn't be there to retaliate. Quickfix: 'However, the angry gods left a curse behind and now the Godline has dwindled and their magical gifts (magic?) has become rare.'

When Alexa Delmon’s magic manifests near the end of her sophomore year at college, it isn’t long before her parents are forced to admit she isn’t human. She isn’t even a Nymph like them or anyone else in the Alaskan village where she was raised. She's a Godline fugitive.

Unable to rest because of the vivid dreams now consuming her nights, she reluctantly returns home for help. But just as she begins to unravel the truth, an Atlantian hunter comes for Alexa, intent on returning her to the queen. When her parents stay behind to hold off the threat, it gives Alexa and her sister enough time to flee with an unexpected ally—the prince of Atlantis.

The trio arrive in a new city with only the promise of meeting some mysterious Godline mentor. But Alexa isn’t sure how long they have before her out-of-control magic brings the hunter down on them again.
 

Ajoy

Senior Member
This is definitely tighter but you've mentioned the Gods left and then, in the next sentence, 'after' a series of retaliatory curses. There's a slight discrepancy in the timeline there. If they left, they wouldn't be there to retaliate. Quickfix: 'However, the angry gods left a curse behind and now the Godline has dwindled and their magical gifts (magic?) has become rare.'
Yes, good point! I'll play around with your suggestion. Thanks!
 

Ajoy

Senior Member
How's it coming along?
I rewrote it fairly significantly and have been sitting on it since yesterday...trying to feel out how I like the changes. I couldn't get the past tense in the first paragraph to flow easily into the present tense of the rest without it feeling clunky in the original version. Here's what I'm feeling out right now for the new version:

When Alexa Delmon’s magic manifests near the end of her sophomore year at college, it isn’t long before her parents are forced to admit she isn’t human. She isn’t even a Nymph like them or anyone else in the Alaskan village where she was raised. She’s a Godline fugitive—a runaway descendent of Greek gods and royalty of Atlantis.

Unable to rest because of the vivid dreams now consuming her nights, she reluctantly returns home for help. But just as she begins to unravel the truth, an Atlantian hunter comes for Alexa, intent on returning her to the experiment chambers of the mad queen. When her parents stay behind to hold off the threat, it gives Alexa and her sister enough time to flee with an unexpected ally—the prince of Atlantis.

The trio arrive in a new city with only the promise of meeting some mysterious Godline mentor. But Alexa isn’t sure how long they have before her out-of-control magic brings the hunter down on them again.
 

TheMightyAz

Mentor
I rewrote it fairly significantly and have been sitting on it since yesterday...trying to feel out how I like the changes. I couldn't get the past tense in the first paragraph to flow easily into the present tense of the rest without it feeling clunky in the original version. Here's what I'm feeling out right now for the new version:

When Alexa Delmon’s magic manifests near the end of her sophomore year at college, it isn’t long before her parents are forced to admit she isn’t human. she isn’t even a Nymph like them or anyone else in the Alaskan village where she was raised. She’s a Godline fugitive—a runaway descendent of Greek gods and royalty of Atlantis.

Unable to rest because of the vivid dreams now consuming her nights, she reluctantly returns home for help. But just as she begins to unravel the truth, an Atlantian hunter comes for Alexa, intent on returning her to the experiment chambers of the mad queen. When her parents stay behind to hold off the threat, it gives Alexa and her sister enough time to flee with an unexpected ally—the prince of Atlantis.

The trio arrive in a new city with only the promise of meeting some mysterious Godline mentor. But Alexa isn’t sure how long they have before her out-of-control magic brings the hunter down on them again.
This is a good revision. Just a few words you could easily lose.
 

alpacinoutd

Senior Member
I wrote this for practice. I would appreciate your comments.

Lisa stepped onto the balcony and cast a glance over the lake. The moon hovered above the clouds, its rays split into thin beams, bleeding through openings in the clouds and smudging the lake with dappled light. Suddenly, she felt a craving to dip her toes in the water.

Walking downstairs, she grabbed a bottle of wine from the fridge and walked out of the villa. The wind moved somberly in a group of trees painted black in the shadow of the night. She walked past them and reached the shell-strewn beach. The lake was placid, not a single ripple on it. The stillness of the water was at odds with what was going on inside her where self-pity and resentment swirled.

The sound of footsteps jolted her out of her reverie. It was her husband, Derek. "I saw you staring at the water. Can I join you?" he asked, cautiously.

"Sure," she answered in a blank voice.

They didn't have much to say to each other. As usual, silence filled the air between them. She withdrew inward, back into her own world. He retreated back into his shell and the invisible glass wall reared up between them again.
 

TheMightyAz

Mentor
I wrote this for practice. I would appreciate your comments.

1/ Lisa stepped onto the balcony and cast a glance over the lake. 2/ The moon hovered above the clouds, its rays split into thin beams, bleeding through openings in the clouds and smudging the lake with dappled light. 3/ Suddenly, she felt a craving to dip her toes in the water.

1/ It's easy to get hooked on rhythm and forget what is actually being conveyed. If the rhythm in some way changes or adds to what's being said, then that's great, but if on removing it, you find it doesn't add anything then chances are it can be removed. 'cast a glance over the lake' versus 'glanced over the lake'. You could argue that including 'cast' there creates the idea of a more sweeping observation of the lake, but then you also have 'over' which also doubles to create that idea. 'cast a glance' has a nice poetic ring to it but 'glanced' is more than enough there. If you want to add words to increase the rhythm and texture of a sentence/paragraph, which is a legitimate thing to do as far as I'm concerned, don't stretch out a single idea/description by adding words to IT ('cast a glance' instead of simply 'glanced'), add in extra texture separate from that single word. 2/ Lots going on here. If I think in terms of physics, none of this actually pans out. First thing you have a moon that 'hovered'. This isn't a solid state, it's a fluctuating state with a little movement. The moon would be rock solid. The moon by default is behind the clouds. It's never in front of them. In order to maintain the general structure of the sentence here, you'd have to consider an alternative state for the moon. In this case, looking at what follows, I'd probably go for something like 'The moon hid behind the clouds'. Although you've still got that same point I made about where the moon is going to be in relation to the clouds, the new idea of 'hiding' justifies' the description and personifies the moon. 'it's rays split into thin beams'. There are two states for the light coming from the moon here BEFORE that light hits the clouds. Think about it. You have a beam and then for no apparent reason, that beam splits into rays (presumably narrower). If they 'split' then how would that look anyway? I get the visual of a ray coming straight down and then splitting off into many thin beams, each going off at a slight angle. Then you have the problem of 'rays' and 'beams'. Both are pretty much the same. 'Bleeding through'. Beams and rays and perfectly straight. Considering physics again, 'bleeding through' doesn't match something that's perfectly straight. 'Pierced' does though and other words of that nature. 'Smudge' and 'dappled' is another uncomfortable coupling. A smudge isn't clear, it's the spreading of something thin with no distinctive edge. This needs a lot of rethinking. Maybe two sentences. 3/ This is a perfect example of why you should avoid 'suddenly' as much as possible. Just read that sentence and imagine that happening in real life. She suddenly decided she wanted to dip her toe in the water? The work needed is done by the sentence: 'She felt a craving to dip her toes in the water.'

1/ Walking downstairs, she grabbed a bottle of wine from the fridge and walked out of the villa. 2/ The wind moved somberly in a group of trees painted black in the shadow of the night. 3/ She walked past them and reached the shell-strewn beach. 4/ The lake was placid, not a single ripple on it. The stillness of the water was at odds with what was going on inside her where self-pity and resentment swirled.

1/ Where is this fridge? On the stairs? 'After she came downstairs, she grabbed a bottle of wine from the fridge and walked out of the villa.' 2/ I kinda like this but I'd want to work with it more. You can't see the wind and you wouldn't be able to see the trees because they're painted black ... and in the shadows ... at night. Now that's dark. Bring that light up and attribute the sombreness to the movement of the trees in the wind. 3/ This feels like an unimportant piece of information. And I'm not sure you'd have a beach on a lake. Maybe you can ... I don't know. It just doesn't feel right. How did she feel when she walked beneath the sombre trees? I say beneath because it's far more intimate than 'past'. 4/ You've set this up for the last sentence but in doing so created an awkward transition. It's clunky and you don't need it. The last sentence does the job. What you've said here is: The water's still, the water's still. The stillness of the water.

The sound of footsteps jolted her out of her reverie. It was her husband, Derek. "I saw you staring at the water. Can I join you?" he asked, cautiously.

"Sure," she answered in a blank voice.

They didn't have much to say to each other. As usual, silence filled the air between them. She withdrew inward, back into her own world. He retreated back into his shell and the invisible glass wall reared up between them again.
 

alpacinoutd

Senior Member
I have written a few things which are not related.

Firstly, is this okay?

After tossing and turning for several minutes, she managed to fall sleep. In her dream, uncle Tommy was wandering the corridors of their old house like a ghost. She was hovering close to wakefulness, and his image became blurrier, receding into black.

------------------
Secondly, I want to say a person stops smiling. Are these okay?

1. She saw the message on her phone. The smile drained from her face.
2. She saw the message on her phone. The smile vanished from her face.
3. She saw the message on her phone. The smile on her face crumpled.
4. She the message on her phone. The smile on her face dimmed.
5. She the message on her phone. The smile on her face receded.

---------------
Thirdly, Is it okay to say "smile through" something?

1. After the funeral, Jane returned home, exhausted. Jim had left her a bouquet of flowers on the coffee table. She managed to smile through her grief after picking up the flowers.
2. She remembered the old days in her home, her childhood. Somehow, she managed to smile through a mix of homesickness and nostalgia.
3. After a long day, he saw her email. He managed to smile through all the pain and misery of the day.
4. She remembered the nights they stayed awake together and did silly things. She managed to smile through the lonely night.
 

TheMightyAz

Mentor
I have written a few things which are not related.

Firstly, is this okay?

After tossing and turning for several minutes, she managed to fall sleep. In her dream, uncle Tommy was wandering the corridors of their old house like a ghost. She was hovering close to wakefulness, and his image became blurrier, receding into black.

Keep your eye on those 'was's. 'was wondering' = 'wondered', 'was hovering' = 'hovered'. 'black' stands out there weakly. 'the darkness' would be stronger. You're writing this and a lot of your stuff on the back foot. It feels reluctant some how as if the sentences are shy. 'After tossing and turning several minutes' instead of 'She tossed and turned for several minutes' It's a dream and yet even in her dream she sees Tommy as a simile (like a ghost).

'She tossed and turned for several minutes before she managed to fall asleep. In her dreams uncle Tommy wandered the corridors of their old house. She hovered close to wakefulness, his image blurring, receding into darkness.'


------------------
Secondly, I want to say a person stops smiling. Are these okay?

1. She saw the message on her phone. The smile drained from her face.

This one's weak. It's that word relationship again. Think about how words relate to one another. Imagine a word has physics and shape. A smile is a physical thing. If you 'drained' a smile, what would that look like?

2. She saw the message on her phone. The smile vanished from her face.

Better. In this case the physical smile has simply disappeared. It was there and then it was gone. There's no awkward physics related problems. It's just an 'on/off' situation. 'on her face'. Where else would a smile be? 'Her smile vanished'.

3. She saw the message on her phone. The smile on her face crumpled.

Crumpled works here because it has a physical effect on a physical object. It creates the idea the smile doesn't just disappear, it fights to maintain its form for a while as it slowly disappears. Again though: 'Her smile crumpled'.

4. She saw the message on her phone. The smile on her face dimmed.

Again we have a physical thing that's acting like a none-physical thing. You could change this to a more abstract representation of what the smile means, which takes away the physical aspect: 'her joy dimmed'.

5. She the message on her phone. The smile on her face receded.

The same as above. 'The ball rolled along the landing, bounced down the stairs and landed in the dog basket'. 'The wooden block slid across the landing, clattered down the stairs and hit the dog basket'. It's a little more complicated sometimes depending on modifying words and overall image but if you concentrate on seeing words as physical things, you'll pick the right word more often. I'll give you an example so you see what I mean about modifiers: 'Her bright smile dimmed' Not the greatest example but do you see how the 'physics' aspect of that sentence has shifted and we're now twinning 'dimmed' with 'bright' (abstract) and not 'smile' (physical)?

---------------
Thirdly, Is it okay to say "smile through" something?

1. After the funeral, Jane returned home, exhausted. Jim had left her a bouquet of flowers on the coffee table. She managed to smile through her grief after picking up the flowers.

Yes, you can say 'smile through' Grief is a big word though. If you say she smiled through her grief, you're implying she 'dealt with' her grief by picking up the flowers. I'd want to tone that down: 'She managed to smile through her tears after picking up the flowers'. The grief still hasn't been dealt with but the manifestation of that grief has been hidden for now.

2. She remembered the old days in her home, her childhood. Somehow, she managed to smile through a mix of homesickness and nostalgia.

This is fine. I'd want to rework this slightly but the question is about 'smile through' and this works.

3. After a long day, he saw her email. He managed to smile through all the pain and misery of the day.

Yep.

4. She remembered the nights they stayed awake together and did silly things. She managed to smile through the lonely night.
And again, yep.
 

Lawless

Senior Member
(Situation: we are already seeing the enemies, but they are not yet seeing us. I don't expect us to be able to remain hidden for long.)

Which one is grammatically correct?
A. It's only a matter of seconds until we'll be spotted.
B. It'll be only a matter of seconds until we're spotted.
C. It'll be only a matter of seconds until we'll be spotted.
 

TheMightyAz

Mentor
(Situation: we are already seeing the enemies, but they are not yet seeing us. I don't expect us to be able to remain hidden for long.)

Which one is grammatically correct?
A. It's only a matter of seconds until we'll be spotted.
B. It'll be only a matter of seconds until we're spotted.
C. It'll be only a matter of seconds until we'll be spotted.
This is a head-scratcher for me. Which do you think is right? The fact you've managed to write this in three different ways suggests you already have a good idea which is correct. What's the context of this? Perhaps if you post the paragraph this appears in, that would help. :) I'd plump for b just because the other two are passive ...
 

Lawless

Senior Member
The fact you've managed to write this in three different ways suggests you already have a good idea which is correct.

Not at all. It's a construct with which I find myself struggling all the time. Like, is it "I'll call you when he turns up," or "I'll call you when he'll turn up?" I mean, my calling you is in the future and his arrival is also in the future, but do you put both verbs into the future tense?
 

TheMightyAz

Mentor
Not at all. It's a construct with which I find myself struggling all the time. Like, is it "I'll call you when he turns up," or "I'll call you when he'll turn up?" I mean, my calling you is in the future and his arrival is also in the future, but do you put both verbs into the future tense?
Yeah, I know what you mean. I'm not a grammar buff and I'd love if more people with a better grasp of grammar would contribute more to this thread! I tend to write grammar instinctively which means most of the time I'm writing within the confines of that 'instinct'. Therefore my sentence structures avoid most things I don't know!

In that instance, my instinct would be to go with 'I'll call you when he turns up'. If you remove the contractions, it becomes clearer which sounds awkward and which doesn't. 'I will call you when he will turn up' is clearly wrong, even if you or I don't know much about grammar.

However, explaining why using grammatical terminology isn't something I could do there.
 

Lawless

Senior Member
In that instance, my instinct would be to go with 'I'll call you when he turns up'. If you remove the contractions, it becomes clearer which sounds awkward and which doesn't. 'I will call you when he will turn up' is clearly wrong, even if you or I don't know much about grammar.

Thanks. Now I got the answer I was looking for.
 

TheMightyAz

Mentor
Thanks. Now I got the answer I was looking for.
As I said, I write grammar instinctively and whilst I know I'm right in saying which is right there, I think it would be great if someone with a complete knowledge of grammar could break it down and explain just why it's the right choice.
 

JBF

Staff member
Board Moderator
I'd love if more people with a better grasp of grammar would contribute more to this thread!

Hence my continuing silence. :p

To the last question: are we focusing on the time or the enemy? Law of primacy says things are listed in descending priority, so as it stands the big concern is time rather than being spotted. A third possibility resides in what happens when they spot us.

Your issue here may be more one of priority rather than grammar.

To keep up with the theory, consider the parts in light of Time, Subject, and Action

A. It's only a matter of seconds until we'll be spotted.
B. It'll be only a matter of seconds until we're spotted.
C. It'll be only a matter of seconds until we'll be spotted.

We'll be spotted in a matter of seconds
In a matter of seconds they'll spot us.
Spotting us in a matter of seconds, they...

Thuough Az's bit about dropping contractions seems to be a pretty good indicator, too.
 
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