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Okay, you can have this. I probably tripped up somewhere in there a time or five, but it’s 2AM. I won’t be held accountable.
>“I'm sorry Okuu. We can talk later, maybe this evening.”
Commas, god damn you. Commas before naming the addressed person, commas before “though,” “however,” “either” and so on. “I’m sorry, Okuu – I’m sorry for being such a huge comma-missing bundle of sticks!” “I’ve got an entire bag of commas upstairs, Anon, and all with your name on them.”
>[Sentence 1:] I already know Im not going to recover everything the first day I'm awake, well, it’s the second day I guess, but that’s beside the point, so spending one night doing nothing but talking shouldn’t be a problem. [Sentence 2:] I'm not on a time limit either, not as far as I know at least.
WHERE DEM APOSTROPHES AT? WHY ARE YOUR SETENCES THE LENGTH OF MY DICK? WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU TRYING TO SAY IN THE FIRST ONE?
Short sentences. You want them. You need them. Always.
The thing about short sentences is, paradoxically, they offer more meaning for your reader than a long-winded, complex one does; for the longer a sentence, the more difficult it becomes to comprehend, and the more it begins to resemble a sequence of disjointed, unrelated, relations of an event that would otherwise take a lesser amount of time than trudging through it reading it takes, or certainly writing it up; moreover, it will also confuse the reader greatly as the volume of information conveyed grows. See?
All the while short sentences offer quick bursts of concrete information that the human brain copes better with. What you want to do, generally, is to keep your sentences brief and concise. There is also another thing about short sentences to keep in mind. As you near the end of the paragraph, shorten them even more. It’ll shock the reader. See?
On THP, you will also want to break your paragraphs more. This is due to the board’s awful spacing. A break you might also use to strengthen the shock of a paragraph-ending statement. Allow me.
I knew already I wasn’t going to recover everything the first day I’m awake. Well, to be fair, it’s already the second day, but that’s not important now. Any way you cut it off, spending one night doing nothing but talking shouldn’t prove too much of a problem. I’m not on any sort of time limit, after all.
Not as far as I know, anyway.
>She just responds with an eager nod.
“Just” is a mostly informal word that you’ll want to avoid whenever you can. The same can be said of “like” and similar. On the other hand, using “just” in the meaning of “in that instance/at the same time” is generally more okay-ish.
Also on this note, one good way to hold your reader’s interest is to break expectations. This is done in many ways: using non-standard syntax, avoiding clichés, giving stock phrasings a miss, and so on. This is a skill you’ll surely pick up with experience, as there is no sure way of learning it the textbook way.
Just, please, once you pick up an especially interesting new phrase/syntax, do not start slapping it all over the place. That usually makes it fairly patent you’ve just learnt it.
She gives me an anxious nod.
She inclines her head with a smile.
All she does is make an eager nod.
Okuu only bobs her chin at me eagerly.
>I turn around to leave, but I quickly turn back as a thought just hit me. “Before I leave,” I catch her attention which was quickly shifted back to the flames, “Mind if I ask you one last question for now?”
Avoid having to much fluff between two segments of the same sentence. Avoid “said bookisms” – don’t aim for a description of a complex action or fancy synonyms for something as simple as saying something. As a rule, “I said,” “said Okuu,” “she replied” is more than enough. Remember that your readers have their own imaginations. The less you say, the more they will be forced to use that to fill in the gaps – the more they will feel engaged in the story. A lot of the time it’s even better-advised to skip the “I said”s altogether.
Just as I spun around to leave, though, something occurred to me. “Actually,” I said, “mind if I ask one last question?”
As I was turning to leave, a thought flashed in my mind. “You know, before that,” I said, “would you mind one more question?”
Also, Once you begin a sentence, it does not end until a full stop/question mark/exclamation mark. “This is how it goes,” says YAF, “when you interrupt a sentence in a dialogue with an ‘X says.’ Notice the lower-case after the comma there? That’s the thing.” The only exception to this is when you say that someone has said, “Something like this, for instance. Or something else.”
>She shakes her head. “Not one bit.”
And now this is a good place to signal that Okuu had already occupied herself with something else.
catch her attention which was quickly shifted back to the flames
Okuu snaps away from the flames. “Ah? Oh. No. Not at all. Go on.”
Natural Okuu speech.
Again, you don’t need to mention Okuu’s attention had wandered to the flames. It’s enough to say that she reverts that attention from the flames and imply it’s to the narrator. Your readers, once again, aren’t brainless – they can, and should, make assumptions and inferences about the text.
>“When we arrived here, me and Satori that is, you knew right of the bat that it was Satori. How did you know?”
And now for some narrator flavour.
I scratched my cheek, mulling over my next words. “When we arrived here,” I murmured, “me and Satori, that is, you knew right off the bat that it was, in fact, Satori. How... How did you know that?”
>I sort of feel stupid from the way she looks at me, like the answer is as obvious as day. “Her scent,” she answers as she tabs her nose with a silly grin on. “I can recognize her scent from anywhere.”
Flavour, flavour, flavour.
The winged girl looks at me as though I was the silliest thing in the world. Then, suddenly, her lips curve up in a roguish grin. “Her scent. I’d know her scent from the other end of the underworld. Probably,” she adds with a little shrug.
>Her scent? Well that’s an excuse I can accept. Though, it does raise a new question. “Then wouldn’t you be able to recognize mine as well? Didn’t you ‘smell’ me approaching as well?”
I’ll take liberties with this one, but again, this is just flavour and everyone has his choice one. Also, you don’t need to mention explicitly that your narrator accepts the excuse – if they didn’t, they’d make a point of it. Since they don’t, it’s a fair assumption to assume your readers will assume your narrator assumed it unimportant. Aw shit, what the hell happened here?
This raises an interesting point. “Then shouldn’t you be able to recognise mine as well? I mean, you could smell me approaching as well, right? I do have a smell... right?”
>“Since Satori-sama has been carrying that thing around with your scent on it, it was a little hard to notice you.” Interesting. “The first time she came here after...” she hesitates,visibly, “after the incident, I thought it was you already.”
She hesitates visibly. She doesn’t, do it visibly. She does it visibly. I am trying to explain it to you clearly. I am not trying to explain it to you, clearly. A comma often changes the meaning of a phrase – especially in English. Keep your verbs closely connected to your adverbs. Do not keep them connected, closely, to their adverbs. Got what I’m saying?
To add to that, this is a good point to mention that it’s generally good if you can separate your character’s interior monologue from their narration. The simplest way would be to use italics, after firstly getting used your reader to the thought that italics signify such monologue. Well, butter me up and call me Sally, thought YAF. This might just be the smartest thing I’ve said in a long while.
“Master Satori has been carrying that thing around—that thing with your smell on it—so it was a little hard to notice you.”How very curious. “The first time she came here,” Okuu continues, “I mean, after the... theincident. She already had it on her. So I thought that was you.”
It’s unnecessary to state that someone hesitates if you use an ellipsis—which naturally signifies a pause—thus trimming down the amount of text – which is always good.
On this point, let me introduce you to three very important typographic symbols. The en dash, the em dash and the semicolon.
The semicolon is used to denote listing of elements, features, etc.
There are three words I’ve got to say about this video game: fuck, shit, and bitch.
The en dash is used to present an opposite point or a conclusion.
What happened there was unspeakable – a real horror. We should have called the police – but then, even they might have failed to stop it.
The em dash is something—a very useful something—that you use for interjections and interruptio— WHOA WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT? JAPANESE HONORIFICS? ARE YOU WRITING IN ENGLISH OR JAPANESE? MAKE UP YOUR GOD DAMN MIND!
>“Sorry, didn’t mean to bring that up again. But thanks.”
“Sorry. Didn’t mean to bring that up again. But... thanks.”
Say your dialogue out loud and pay heed to how it sounds – naturally or otherwise.
>With nothing else to ask of her, I wave her off and start walking back up the slope, if you can even call this walking.
Okuu accepts the apology with a mute nod. When she turns to face the fires again, I let my shoulders limp.I guess this is as far as we’ll go, I decide. With nothing else to say, I mutter a quiet good-bye and start back up the slope. The hot underground wind furls about me as I put the first few metres behind me. The mansion’s empty windows look down at me from far above – dark, unblinking eyes, oblivious of my inner plights. It’s going to be a long walk back.
That is, if you can even call this a walk.
This is a good place the end the scene, too. And since we’re ending a scene, it’s good to soothe the reader after an important (?) exchange of information. This is why, longer sentences become useful here, where you need to lull the reader into a more lethargic state.
Then end the whole thing with a brief, sharp, sarcastic sentence for an even better effect. Mag-ni-fi-cent.
Also, check your phrasal and prepositional verbs. “Wave off” means to refuse. Not to wave good-bye.
Now, from here, when you start the next scene after a breaker (three asterisks, dots, whatever you choose), you can start it in medias res, as the narrator ponders the conversation they just had while lying in their bed back at the mansion.
So Satori has held onto something of mine since the incident. Whatever it is, it might as well hold some kind of memory. Then again, I suppose if it had been of any real importance to me, she would’ve shown it to me already.
What a mess, I grumble, tossing about on the bed.
The first of the troubles is I don’t give a care about the memories. They would be useful, sure – but elsewise, I can as well do without them. All I want are Satori’s legs, after all. Those slim, snow-white thighs that run from her waist all the way to her knees, only to become the loveliest calves you’ve ever seen. The tiny feet, the cute little ankles... And those toes – oh, the toes! What worth are forgotten memories beside those toes?
With some effort, I launch myself to my feet. This is no time for ruminating. Satori is in the mansion—or should be at the least—and I left Okuu by the furnace myself. Orin I haven’t seen since the previous evening. Nor any time today. If ever there was a time, it is now. I slip on my shoes and go for the door. I have to go.
Those toes will not suck themselves
Hmm? What’s that? Stalactites? What stalac—... Oh. Oh. Well, never mind everything I just said then.