Saturday, September 5, 2009

Dependent clauses and commas

Mystery Robin said...

Quick follow up question re: your "because I failed Algebra" example. I thought "because" was always preceeded by a comma, just like 'and' or 'but'.

Is that not a hard and fast rule? Or not a rule at all and I'm just confused?


"And" and "But" are coordinating conjunctions. That is, they (among other roles) connect two independent clauses, and yes, in that case, they are preceded by a comma (or rather, the first independent clause is followed by a comma and the conjunction to the second independent clause). This is called a "compound sentence" because it connects two units of equal grammatical weight (both independent clauses-- can be sentences on their own).

But "because" is a subordinating conjunction, which subordinates or makes a clause subordinate, dependent rather than independent. The dependent clause cannot be a sentence on its own. When you use a dependent clause with an independent clause, this becomes a "complex" sentence-- complex because you are presenting a distinction between the two elements, one being more important (the main/independent clause) than the other.

The "because" (or "although" or "as" or "before" -- there are a couple dozen of these) is called the "subordinating conjunction". The rule is-- when the dependent clause comes first in the sentence, there's a comma after it. But when it comes AFTER the main clause, there's no comma.

I occasionally put a comma in there to separate the independent/main clause from the trailing dependent clause, especially with "because"-- when? I think when it's clearly a conclusion and the comma signifies that, or when it's non-restrictive (not necessary).

But the rule is, dependent clause comma independent clause.... independent clause no-comma dependent clause. Of course, here I go again-- if we know the rule, we can then violate it for a desired effect, as long as we understand the editor might change it back. :)

Let me see if I have a link to a punctuation website.

43 comments:

Leona said...

From the editing of my science fiction novel I learned I have an atrocious habit, or two, with commas. Usually I do waaaaayyy to many commas, then I'll turn around and forget them from typing to fast, ie not paying attention.

You have my permission to use anything of mine that you get your hands on as examples of what to do, what not to do, or lessons on fixing.

Everyone here seems to believe in constructive criticism and in learning. I'm all for it. I'm also willing to find passages that are riddled with commas for group critique. (Laptop is up and running again, so I have LOTS of material! LOL)

Edittorrent said...

I love examples I don't have to come up with. :)

Alicia

Mystery Robin said...

Thank you so, so much for explaining that! It makes perfect sense, now. And I'm forever indebted to my 8th grade English teacher for giving me enough hooks to hang all this information on. I didn't appreciate it at the time, but I so do now.

Leona said...

Here's an example. My ego wanted to send something I KNEW to be pristine and exciting, but this passage isn't quite right. Feel free to make any and all suggestions. Thanks :)



The first vehicle in the convoy pulled up close. Two men in desert camouflage stepped out training their weapons on Victoria and Erica. The front passenger got out, his bearing as well as his uniform attesting to his authority; that did not inspire Victoria or Erica to stand down. Since Victoria’s dad is a General — unsure which side he came down on, they were not taking any chances.

Edittorrent said...

I personally don't mind the occasional semi-colon, but as a survivor of The Epic Semi-colon Battle, I am reluctant to let any go through now. Call it Post-trauma Semi-colon Disorder, or call it cowardice. But how about replacing the semi with a period and make life easier for editors everywhere?

Not sure why you switched to present tense in the last senence?

Also who is the "he" they're unsure of? The front passenger? The general?

Comma after "stepped out"--
Two men in desert camouflage stepped out, training their weapons on Victoria and Erica.
Trailing modifiers are often, not always, set off by commas. Think about the sequence. They stepped out of the car. Pause. They trained their weapons. The comma acknowledges these are not exactly simultaneous events but sequential.

What's that dash? I think-- coupled with the present tense-- that whole clause feels like it's a note you put in there to remind you to integrate the information.

Anyway, let's see how that would work actually:
Since Victoria’s dad was a General, unsure which side he came down on, they were not taking any chances.

Okay, see, the "Since" clause (and "since" should be reserved for time things, like since I was a boy, though of course in the US we use it as a synonym for "As") just doesn't connect. This is one of those good examples of how you might not be able to figure out how to punctuate because the meaning doesn't happen. Presumably you mean that Victoria has some special something-- knowledge, experience, confidence, arrogance?-- because her father is a general. But that isn't explained, and it doesn't seem to connect to them being unsure, and the "he" must refer back to that passenger, but it seems like it refers to her father.

The punctuation confusion is just a sign that the meaning isn't there. Fix the meaning-- say what you mean-- and you can probably figure out the punctuation.
A

Murphy said...

Hi Leona:

I'll give it a stab. I could be totally off, but I was looking to clarify in a few spots. Like: do you mean that the passenger's highly decorated uniform wasn't enough to put them at ease? And, in the last sentence, is it Victoria's dad or the stranger, that they didn't know what side he came down on? I took it that it was the stranger - but the way it reads it sounds like the other way around.

The first vehicle in the convoy pulled up close. Two men in desert camouflage stepped out, and trained their weapons on Victoria and Erica. Then, the front passenger exited the vehicle(or craft, truck, ship). His regal bearing, combined with a highly decorated uniform, attested to his authority, but that didn’t inspire Victoria or Erica to stand down. As Victoria’s dad was a General, and they were still unsure which side this stranger came down on, they weren’t prepared to take any chances.

I was wondering what Victoria's dad being a General has to do with the present situation? The insertion of 'since'/'as' indicates that it's important. Is she valuable to the other side and if he's on the other side, she could be taken hostage type of a deal? If that's the case I'd probably spell it out. like: ...to stand down. They were too valuable as potential hostages. As Victoria's dad..........
Murphy

Leona said...

Thank you for the suggestions. The dash and the phrase change to unsure was a friend being "helpful" as I was getting ready to post it here.

As I am having my own troubles getting this passage to say what it needs to say, I left her corrections alone.

This is a thriller, so everyone knows from the start who the main "bad guy" is. Earlier, the reader learns Victoria's father, the General, has been involved with a treasonous act. They are not sure whether it was intentional or if he'd been unknowingly used by the traitor.

This confrontation happens after a bloody gunbattle but before they've ascertained the General's complicity or lack thereof. After the gunfight with the traitor, a high ranking military man, Victoria and Erica are unwilling to stand down simply because a high ranking official has shown up.

Here's the initial go at clarifying this paragraph.


The first vehicle in the convoy pulled up close. Two men in desert camouflage stepped out training their weapons on Victoria and Erica. Other’s came out of the rear car and subtly circled behind the hangar. The front passenger in the middle vehicle got out, his bearing as well as his uniform attesting to his authority. At this point, the man’s authority wasn’t enough to inspire Victoria or Erica to stand down. As they were unsure of General Robert,Victoria’s dad, and where he stood on the stolen files, they were not taking any chances.

It still 'feels' not quite right. I want this scene to move quickly, yet convey wariness and strength of the women in the situation. You can tell from previous scenes she's emotionally tough enough to handle the idea of her father being a traitor. I'd like to emphasize that not only is it her father, an authority figure, that she's standing up to if necessary, but the man who had the rank to order her to be brought in by the men confronting her.

Maybe I should make it two paragraphs? I'm afraid of slowing the scene down. For the most part this thriller has been surprisingly lean and clean. I'd like to keep it that way. But I want to be understood as well. I don't want the reader to pop out of this intense scene because they're confused. I want them to be thinking of the guns, and tension, not the tense (insert tongue in cheek in here) or the comma placement.

Would two paragraph's work better?

Murphy said...

Okay, if it were me writing this, I'd pay attention to Alicia's comments first.;) If you're going with the 'ing' (training) you need to do the comma as she suggested, right?
I would break this into two paragraphs and build the tension of the guns in the first.

The first vehicle in the convoy pulled up close. Two men in desert camouflage stepped out, training their weapons on Victoria and Erica. Two more men got out of the rear car and (subtly) I'm not sure I like that because they weren't very subtle if everyone saw them get out and do it, right?) circled behind the hangar. Here, I'm thinking, if they are circling and V and E are standing ground - shouldn't one of them be keeping an eye on these guys circling? Just a thought.
And another thought. You could begin the second paragraph and make the guy getting out of the car seem important simply by having someone rush to open the door for him. Then you don't have to try too hard with all the authority comments.
Murphy

Leona said...

LOL there was supposed to be a comma! I erased and did it over a couple of times and obviously missed the comma the last time.

Murphy you were right, the two paragraphs work much better and it hasn't hurt the flow at all. In fact, I think it cleaned it up.

Thanks for your help :)

The first vehicle in the convoy pulled up close. Two men in desert camouflage stepped out, training their weapons on Victoria and Erica. Others came out of the rear car and stood in a semicircle facing the front of the hangar. Victoria narrowed her eyes at the men, wondering if it was her dad who’d ordered this obvious take down. She hated not being sure where her dad fit into all of it. Was he or wasn’t he part of the conspiracy?

The driver of the middle vehicle got out, moved to the passenger door and opened it. He stood to the side and saluted the man that got out. Victoria recognized his authority by the salute and the man’s bearing, even before he was close enough to read the rank on the uniform. His rank didn’t impress Victoria or Erica and both held their position, refusing to stand down.

Murphy said...

I like that there's a reaction included (the narrowing of the eyes) good. I do have a few more suggestions - re: word choice or phrase. The first word would be 'obvious' take-down. I would take out 'obvious' because, well, it's obvious and it would read cleaner without it.
Not a big fan of the phrase: 'She hated not being sure', you're using a lot of words to say that she's uncertain What about for effect, you do:
Victoria narrowed her eyes at the men, wondering if it was her dad who'd ordered this take-down. She hated the uncertainty. Where did her dad fit into all of this? Was he part of the conspiracy?

Rank and rank. For the first rank could you swap that out with stipes or insignia or metals? Like: even before he was close enough to see all the gold on the shoulder of his uniform. Or even before he was close enough to see all stripes on his uniform. And the last thing I would mention, doesn’t she have to qualify how she knew that Erica wasn’t impressed by rank? You're in Victoria's POV, right?
Good job!
Signed Murphy, who'd rather look at your stuff today, than her own.:D

Leona said...

Exceptional suggestions, as always Murphy.

I have to find a good critique group. You saw the help I'm getting now. My friend is the one who added the em dash and erased what I'd written and put her own thing in. I've decided not to let her EDIT LOL.

I'm certainly glad you're in the mood to fix my story:) You helped me get past a part that bugged me every read through! Other stuff, like multiple words, I'm trying to catch, but it's very frustrating to know what you're trying to say isn't what you said!

I'm different then a lot of writers. I'm willing to change my words because it is the story I want people to 'hear'. If the story isn't being understood, then I want to change the words.

Thank you for helping me push past the barrier :)

Thanks again!!

Leona said...

Oh, and about the POV. Mostly it is in Victoria's POV, but Erica is trying to take over. I have a story for Erica following this one but she's not wanting to wait her turn :)

However, the two of them have been partners for years, so they read each other real well. I'm trying very hard not to let Erica take over yet keep the partner feeling between the two of them.

Will have to watch that carefully.

Edittorrent said...

I'm still not sure who "they" are in the last sentence-- Erica and Victoria, or the passengers with the guns? Who is unsure, and what does that have to do with the general? I really think, if that's important, you should take it slower, and instead of "they", use some other designator. I think that will make it clearer to the clueless like me. :)

I think your new 2-par version makes the meaning clearer. Sometimes I think it helps to first write a stripped-down, meaning-clear version, and then pretty the sentences up.
Alicia

Murphy said...

No problem! Glad I was able to help.:)
I do hear you about words. Except my problem is that I hate to take good ones out. You know, on account of me being the reformed adjective queen.;) Now I figure, if it's in there, it stays. Hence, the low point of my week. When I got my work back for suggested revisions and a word was axed and I wanted to die. The 15 dollar word? 'Centrifugal'. Now, I ask you, how great is that word? It took (and this is no freaking lie, okay?) ten minutes to guess it correct enough for spell checker to figure out what word I was looking for...yeah, it didn't help that I started spelling that sucker with an 's'. *shrug* Yes, the blonde is from a bottle, but I still have my Monroe moments.:D (I’m kidding)
So, I sent back an email and explained how I should get to keep that word because it was so hard for me to spell it correctly. But Nope. Gone. There was nothing I could do, say or purchase to get agreement on that. Man, I’d bet If I could lose weight as quickly as my 15 dollar words are cut out of my work - I’d be a size zero in a day. Give me two days and I’d disappear sideways.;)
Murphy

em said...

I liked the second version, Leona. I liked Murphy's suggestion about the door being opened. If I'm learning here, that would be showing not telling.:)

Leona said...

At this point, I'm not being MADE to take my words out. Here's the big but. I'm reading and catching up on the blogs here, and rereading others on known problems. What does that mean? It means that everytime I learn something new I have to go through my manuscripts to fix them.

The one I gave an example from is one on my laptop that's been out of commission for weeks. Thanks to everything I've learned, combined with feedback on a story submitted, I've cut over 800 words. That's after I made the one paragraph into two! It's almost worst when you're the one who has to cut the wonderful words.

I'd taught myself a few new words, too. :( But they are gone. Cut. Out the door. Unnecessary. Boring even. I'm writing a thriller, not a babysitting book. No one needs all the details. sigh.

Alice, thank you for that heads up. There are two people with Victoria. I'm glad I sent you a troubled paragraph, instead of a perfect one! If this was a paragraph I thought was good, I'd be moping. :)

The aforementioned Erica, and the hero, Mario. I have to say that as it isn't clear from the immediately preceding paragraphs, and I missed that one in the rewrite. I have left poor Mario out of quite a bit here.

Also, anyone is welcome to make comments/suggestions.

BTW Murph, love your word! Not sure why you can't use that word. Perhaps it does not mean what you think it means LOL. Hey, maybe the word you're looking for is centripetal force? (insert tongue in cheek)

Murphy said...

Alice? Okay, I'll bite. Alice, have you, perhaps, been hanging out with Wayne? ;)

Ah, my expensive word. Yes, the why would be that my paragraph and the visual I was going for, called for a 10 dollar word. Drat! But, as Alice would say, I have it for another day. (hehehe)
Murphy:D

Leona said...

Here are the changes I made so far. I'm glad I'm getting this experience. It's like going through boot camp before hitting the editors who will get rid of my $15, or $10, words.

See, there's me being sure I will get that nerve wracking, horrific experience. :)


The first vehicle in the convoy pulled up close. Two men in desert camouflage stepped out, training their weapons on Victoria and Erica. Others came out of the rear car and stood in a semicircle facing the front of the hangar. Victoria narrowed her eyes at the men, wondering if it was her dad who had ordered the take down. She hated the uncertainty. Where did her dad fit into all of this? Was he part of the conspiracy?


The driver of the middle vehicle got out, moved to the passenger door and opened it. He stood to the side and saluted the man that got out. Victoria recognized his authority by the salute and the man’s bearing, even before he was close enough to read the insignia on his uniform. His rank didn’t impress Victoria and she signaled Erica and Mario to hold their positions, refusing to stand down.

Edittorrent said...

Then there's "centripetal." I can't remember which direction it is, but it's the OTHER direction.

I'm also fond of "circumnavigate." I haven't yet found the right sentence, but I just know sometime I'm going to use that.
Alicia

Murphy said...

Ooooh, circumnavigate. Great word. I'll use it tomorrow. Today I don't have the strength to build a whole scene around that, but tomorrow I will. (she says, twirling her mustache and waggling her brows in a devious manner.) Wait until I hand that one in.;)
Murphy

Edittorrent said...

Oh, that's scary, Murphy. You're like me-- building a scene around a word. "What do you mean, this is a cozy mystery! I need the sleuth to circumnavigate the globe!"

br drager said...

Comma after "stepped out"--
Two men in desert camouflage stepped out, training their weapons on Victoria and Erica.
Trailing modifiers are often, not always, set off by commas. Think about the sequence. They stepped out of the car. Pause. They trained their weapons. The comma acknowledges these are not exactly simultaneous events but sequential.

(bolding mine)

Alicia,
Er, we've just had a great session on PPP, and so, I hope you don't mind me disagreeing here with the part I had bolded. :)

I was reading the PPP as modifying the main clause. Also, I thought the comma had to be there (otherwise, for this sentence, the grammar would be messed up).

The sentence using the PPP, to me, means that the men were training their weapons on Victoria and Erica at the same time as the men were stepping out. Not two independent sequential actions.

Actually, I thought that perhaps the writer meant something like "Two men in desert camouflage stepped out and trained their weapons on Victoria and Erica."

If the writer meant that the men had their weapons trained on Victoria and Erica before, or during, the process of the men stepping out, then perhaps the sentence could be reorganized to make that clearer. Because too often, when a writer uses a PPP like the writer did here, I almost automatically assume that the writer didn't really mean to.

Unfortunately, I do see a lot of commercially published fiction that does try to use a PPP for a sequential action. And too often, I'm seeing stuff similar to "The boy opened the door, running through the kitchen, climbing the stairs, and flopping into bed."

Leona said...

Before Alice answers, I should let you know what I'm trying to say in that sentence.

The men have their weapons in their hands and the weapons are being aimed as they move into position, almost at the same time. They do not get out of the car, saunter over and then point the weapons. However, they also have to be out, even if they're bringing their weapons up as they move. The weapons are trained on the others before they've fully stood up, and before they've cleared the door of the vehicles.

I can visualize it, but because the grammar lessons are swimming in my head, I can't tell you for sure.

br drager said...

Leona,
I was hoping that was the image you were intending to paint. :)

The men have their weapons in their hands and the weapons are being aimed as they move into position, almost at the same time.

I'd like to suggest that you use that prose as the kernel for your reworked version. I'd think that your main characters would be seeing something somewhat drastic, men with weapons, the men swinging the barrels of their weapons on them, and the men climbing out of the vehicle, with their weapons trained on the MCs. I'd think that type of image, with the emotions flushing through the MCs, might deserve a bunch of words. :)

"We" all seem to sometimes fall into the pitfall of reducing our prose too much in important places (me included). And of course, too often, PPP is bad--bad! bad!--somewhat, many times, too often. :)

imo, of course.

Leona said...

br drager - I like your solution. Besides, as I stated earlier, I cut 800 words. Here's another go at it. (No worries. I'm totally reworking the whole piece with my newfound knowledge :)

The first vehicle in the convoy pulled up close. The doors opened as two soldiers in desert camouflage stepped out of their vehicle, weapons in hand. They sighted down the barrels as they moved into position. Four other soldiers came out of the rear car, weapons on their shoulders as they quickly moved into a semicircle facing the front of the hangar.

Victoria narrowed her eyes at the men, wondering if it was her dad who had ordered the take down. She hated the uncertainty. Where did her dad fit into all of this? Was he part of the conspiracy?

The driver of the middle vehicle got out with a fluid motion and quick marched to the passenger door. He stood to the side as he opened it, never taking his hand of his holster. He stood at attention and saluted the man as he embarked.

Victoria recognized the man’s authority by the salute and his posture, even before he was close enough to read the insignia on his uniform. His rank didn’t impress Victoria and she signaled Erica and Mario to hold their positions, refusing to stand down.

This book means a lot me, so the help is appreciated.

br drager said...

I'm watching Masterpiece Theatre at the moment. :)

So, I'm kinda . . . got my mind somewhat busy . . .

I'll try to give my comments on the first paragraph, but later in a different post.

In this comment, I'd like to comment on your last sentence:
His rank didn’t impress Victoria and she signaled Erica and Mario to hold their positions, refusing to stand down.

-- Perhaps it's missing the comma to separate the two independent clauses.
-- The ending PPP is unclear, imo. Its implied subject is? Was it her or her two men that were refusing to stand down?
-- I'm not sure, but is this scene in Victoria's perspective? (Is it intended for her to be the pov character?)
-- What is his rank? And why didn't it impress Victoria?
-- Perhaps the sentence might benefit in being split into two, the first on the man's rank and why it didn't impress her, the second on her signaling to her men?

Hope this helps. :)

br drager said...

As promised, for your first paragraph: :)

The first vehicle (a truck?) in the convoy (was the convoy previously described? If not, then perhaps show it here) pulled up close. The doors opened (how? swung out with a bang?) as two soldiers in desert camouflage stepped out of their vehicle (delete "of their vehicle"?), weapons in hand. They sighted down the barrels as they moved (repetition 1x on "moved") into position. *Another four* soldiers came out of the rear car (how? wouldn't a car be too small?), weapons on their shoulders as they quickly moved (repetition on "moved") into a semicircle (unclear) facing the front of the hangar.

-- I'd suggest that specifics be used to replace the generics, e.g., what kind of vehicle, what kind of car that is big enough to hold 4 fully armed soldiers and a driver, how did they "move" (which is a bland verb), and often a muscle verb can replace "quickly + verb." And perhaps a better verb phrase instead of "came out" (like poured out, stormed out, tumbled out, etc.).

-- Your last sentence, to me, it seems as though the comma is being used to comma splice two separate ideas: one is the 4 soldiers tumbled out of the car, the second is that the 4 soldiers then moved into a semicircle. But the sentence structure implies that the second idea modifies the first.

I hope this helps. And I best allow the others to help you out (before I mislead you too far).

Good luck!

Edittorrent said...

br-- I just figured you couldn't get out of a car while training the guns. But I know nothing about guns (and not a lot about getting out of a car either-- the other day, I cut my finger getting out of my car! See, you really don't want me simultaneously getting out of a car and training a gun on you. Disaster awaits. :)
A

br drager said...

Oo, one more. :)

. . . because this one is a pet peeve of mine. In your clause, "Victoria narrowed her eyes at the men, . . .", I'd like to suggest that maybe you could rephrase this so that it's in Victoria's pov. Maybe something like "Victoria frowned, . . ."

This is because, unless Victoria is an actress, she wouldn't be thinking of narrowing her own eyes. Now Victoria might observe another character narrowing his eyes. But for Victoria, for her own emotions, she'd probably be frowning, which she might or might not be aware of herself as doing. Which is a different issue. :) To me, in some situations, a pov character is aware of herself frowning (she can feel her forehead tightening), and I think that in your scene that the pov character would also realize that she's frowning.

To make a long story short, to say that Victoria frowned (when we are in her pov) is fine with me, but to say that she narrowed her own eyes is sorta a bit jarring to me.

imo. :)
Good luck!
(And I better stop procrastinating and get to editing my own stuff.)

Murphy said...

Hi Leona!

Gee, I think you got more than you bargained for.:) All good stuff, though. You worked through all your rough patches like a real trooper. Are you sure you’re not Victoria?;)

br drager:

Between You and me, (hey, I wanted to get my other phatic phrase in there)- I wouldn't lean toward Victoria frowning. A 'frown' could be an involuntary emotional or intellectual response and I get that Victoria is purposeful in what she is doing in this scene. I know that I've intentionally narrowed my eyes at someone and having done this, I also know that I know (wow, that was a mouthful) when I’m doing this - because I did it on purpose. While on the flip side, I’ve been frowning at a person and not realized it until they've asked me what's wrong. So, in this instance I think the more generic reaction from Victoria would be a frown - I mean, why is she frowning? (Is she confused, mad?) There could be multiple reasons. It leaves the door wide open for readers to misinterpret her emotions. With this other, I highly doubt that a reader would misinterpret why she narrowed her eyes. It says so much more than a frown.
Just my .02

Murphy, who is with br drager on one point. To stop procrasinating and start working on her own stuff today.;)

The best of luck with this Leona! You get a gold star for sticking with it!

Jami G. said...

Hi Leona,

Yikes, I'm gone from the blog for one day and I miss 30 comments?!?

Wow, you got some great suggestions, and I already see a ton of improvement. I hear you completely about feeling like you have to re-edit your whole WIP every time Teresa or Alicia post something new. :) Luckily, the last couple of posts were for things that I knew already, so I'm hoping that's a sign that I'm nearing the end of my learning curve. *fingers crossed*

Anyway, here's one thing that I've been trying to do with my WIP:
Victoria narrowed her eyes at the men, wondering if it was her dad who had ordered the take down.
I've decided that I hate using a trailing PPP in this way. I blame/thank Alicia for that. :) She pointed out that words like "knowing", "wondering", etc. aren't really actions and therefore don't really belong in a PPP. So here's how I've been fixing these:
Victoria narrowed her eyes at the men. Had her dad ordered this take down?
In other words, change the "wondering" phrase into actual internal dialogue.

Hope this helps!
Jami G.

Jordan said...

Sheesh. It's a holiday people!

I'm with JG on the "wondering," but for a different reason. When I see a POV character "wondering," I begin wondering why the author didn't dig a little deeper into the POV and show us what the character was wondering, instead of telling us she was wondering such and such.

(The fix I'd propose would be the same as JG's.)

But I defer to the POV expert, Alicia, in all things POV.

And in a question related only to the original post, do all initial time clauses have to be set off with commas? (The sentence in question is "Three weeks ago Molly was disabused of that notion." Oh. Crap. As I was typing it, I automatically inserted a comma. I guess I have my answer.)

Word verification: binge. Weird...

Jordan said...

I believe that would be, "It's a holiday, people!"

I am now trying to envision a holiday people. Sounds like something we should run from....

Jami G. said...

Jordan,

Yes, I agree with your reasoning too. :) "Wondering" is often used as a thought tag, and I try to get rid of those at all costs as well. It's just that when it's placed in a PPP, it's less obviously a thought tag, so I forgot to mention the other aspect. Thanks!

Jami G.

Leona said...

Thank you Jami and Jordan! Good points. I just got home from another round of house hunting in San Antoio. I will do another go through on these paragraphs that used to be one but are now four. LOL I KNEW there was something wrong with it. Sometimes, I hate being right!

Leona said...

I have a question. As I'm going through and rewriting the sections previous, I realize that I have gone into three POV's throughout the story (currently at 42,200 words, about 800 less then yesterday!) Is that too many? In trying to correct the extra POV, meaning not the hero or heroine, I realize that her POV is more effective in certain circumstances.

Would this be an automatic sluch pile issue and should be changed ASAP or is it possible to make it work?
signed working hard to be the next best selling author :)

em said...

I wouldn't be switching the POV too many times. It could be construed as head-hopping.
I did like a lot of the suggestions here. Internal dialogue, narrowing her eyes as opposed to frowning and the wondering/reasoning ideas.
And I'm using the, I'm with Murphy stamp on this one, Leona, gold star to you for the great changes you've made so far and being such a good sport in the process!:)
Em

Murphy said...

Hi Jordan! JG *waves*. Some great points!
Murphy

Leona said...

Okay, first, it is explained earlier to some extent why Victoria isn't impressed with rank. One reason is her father is a General. She does respect the rank, but someone with less authority isn't likely to impress her for rank alone when dealing with traitors.

Fore ease of comparison, here is the original:


The first vehicle in the convoy pulled up close. Two men in desert camouflage stepped out training their weapons on Victoria and Erica. The front passenger got out, his bearing as well as his uniform attesting to his authority; that did not inspire Victoria or Erica to stand down. Since Victoria’s dad is a General — unsure which side he came down on, they were not taking any chances.

Here is this rounds version :)



The first HMMWV swerved to her right before turning in. The doors flung open as two soldiers in desert camouflage swung out, weapons in hand. They sighted down the barrels as they moved into position. The middle HMMWV pulled directly in front of her. As the third one came to a quick stop. Four more soldiers came out of the rear car, weapons on their shoulders as they quickly moved into a semicircle facing the front of the hangar.

Victoria narrowed her eyes at the men, wondering if it was her dad who ordered the take down. She hated the uncertainty. Where did her dad fit into all of this? Was he part of the conspiracy?

The driver of the middle vehicle got out with a fluid motion and quick marched to the passenger door. He stood to the side as he opened it, never taking his hand of his holster. The soldier stood at attention and saluted the man as he embarked.

Victoria recognized the man’s authority by the salute and his posture, even before he was close enough to read the insignia on his uniform. His rank didn’t impress Victoria and she refused to stand down. She signaled Erica and Mario to hold their positions. She kept her Glocks up and ready, pointing them at the two men she felt were the most dangerous. Erica and Mario also kept their weapons up.

Leona said...

Lets try new version again LOL

I forgot a paragraph and fixing a capital letter where I changed sentence structure :)

Babs said...

You've come a long way, Leona. Good for you!:)
Babs

Jordan McCollum said...

(*waves to Murphy*! I started a new WIP two weeks ago with my Murphy villain, so I think about you night and day, darling. Send me some message oil!)

Murphy said...

Awww....glad you're thinking about me Jordan! Message oil on it's way!
Murphy

Word verification: 'beminess' - Elmer Fudd referring to a poisonous snake.:D