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April 30th, 2005, 11:04 AM
Here is a short, short chapter (http://www.sffworld.com/community/story/455p0.html) (only one paragraph). Felix and his men are taking on a difficult mission which requires them to ride across the plains through the night to reach the enemy just at dawn. I am interleaving this and the subsequent battle with scenes from the Prince's son living care free and in luxury will little thought to the men who are risking their lives.

I was wondering if people would mind telling me what they think. The idea was to try and evoke in the reader the rhythm of the horses as well as the monotony of riding through the night, and the men's thoughts of home.

April 30th, 2005, 12:22 PM
Well, first impression, keep working on it.

There are ways other than commas to create rhythm in a sentence. Pay attention to syllables in a word or in a phrase, hard consonants and soft consonants, rhyming pentameter, the shape of the letters, the secret messages using the first letter of the first word, the second letter of ... and more. To pull off something like this, you have to dig so far into the details that no one dares follow.

Then don't feel bad if after hours, months, years of work, someone reads right over it and misses the whole point. :( That's life.


April 30th, 2005, 07:28 PM
Some full stops would be of use :D It's an interesting little writing challenge I'll give you that, the rhythm isn't quite there though - a horse's, I think I'm right in saying, gait is diagonal so right hind, left front -> left hind, right front so at a gallop there is a distinct second where the horse seems to be suspended in the air before it switches. I've only ever been horse riding a few times so someone with more experience will be better able to tell you. The point of this for the rhythm is that you could use a short sentence followed by a slightly longer sentence then back to a short sentence. Also you could use a long sentence for that time the horse is jumping the fence.

April 30th, 2005, 08:32 PM
Thanks both for your replies. It is still very much a work in progress, but I am keeping at it, as I think it will be worth it in the end. The rhythm I was going for was BA-da-DUM. BA-da-DUM. So I would like the first of couple of lines to read like


I know I am not sticking to it the entire time, I hope to make it better as I revise. The problem, is to make it obvious to the reader what the cadence should be without having to stand over them saying "See? Its like a horse galloping".

Do I have the rhythm right? I always thought of the BA-da-DUM rhythm, but I might be wrong.


May 2nd, 2005, 05:30 AM
Nah, I, mean naaaah!, you can't, use commas ungrammatically, just to cause, a pause, wherever, you want a pause even, if there,s no grammatical reason, for, a comma.

It's a chucker in that form. What you want to accomplish is a good idea, but, the end does not justify the means.

May 2nd, 2005, 07:33 AM
Yup. I have already pulled all of the commas out (Except where they should be anyways)

May 2nd, 2005, 04:44 PM
Its a single sentence. Are the rest of the paragraphs single run-on sentences too?

May 2nd, 2005, 05:53 PM
Its a single sentence. Are the rest of the paragraphs single run-on sentences too?

No, its intended to be only a single paragraph "chapter" written in that style. It will be sandwiched between two sections of the "prince" sleeping comfortably in his bed.

May 2nd, 2005, 05:57 PM
I appreciates everyone's comments. I posted a revised version, and will continue to work on it.


May 3rd, 2005, 12:56 AM
It's getting better. IMhO

You have to be thinking like a poet to do this, even if you are using the prose form, you have to use just about everything else poetical. I think the segment should be longer, there's not enough there to catch on to the rhythm before it's gone. As part of the thought, you might try taking a few 'side trips', see where it goes. And I would personally aviod using the word "rhythm", it's like leading your reader down into the valley, through the trees and up to the shimmering water and then saying, "Look, a river."

dba. B5