Welcome to the AbsoluteWrite Water Cooler! Please read The Newbie Guide To Absolute Write

Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: regarding description of a scene

  1. #1
    practical experience, FTW phineas12gauge's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cape Breton
    Posts
    766

    regarding description of a scene

    I have a scene in my novel where a character gets popped in the eye with a steel pipe. I'm trying to add some little juicy bits of detail to describe what happens but am hitting a bit of a snag.

    Here's an example:

    "sharp little bone fragments punctured his sclera"

    Would the general person know what a sclera is?

    or would you keep it simple

    "sharp little bone fragments bone fragments punctured his eyeball"

  2. #2
    The Crazy Man in the Sun. Feel me. WillSauger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    5,043
    I wouldn't think you would see bones.

    Your flesh, blood and all the other soft things in your face would cover it up.

    There would be blood, flesh and maybe showing bone. But I've never heard of eye-socket bone to puncture an eye.

    The eye might smash in and just squirt like some sour grape. (Horror forum, I can get a little gross).
    Don't Fear Failure.

    "The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn" -- Alvin Toffler.

    "The heights of great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight, but they while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night" -- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

  3. #3
    practical experience, FTW phineas12gauge's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cape Breton
    Posts
    766
    Quote Originally Posted by WillSauger View Post
    I wouldn't think you would see bones.
    You wouldn't see bones, that is correct ... I'm speaking more in terms of what could happen when an orbital bone shatters from the application of a steel pipe .

    Can I use 3rd person omni to describe details of wounds/injuries that might not be directly visible to the naked eye?

  4. #4
    "Upgrade your gray matter"- Deltron AW Moderator Jcomp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    5,245
    I think sclera is the right word. Can't speak for the general public, but I think many (most?) people reading the story who didn't know the word "sclera" would be able to figure out what it was based on what had happened. And 3rd person omni to describe details of the wound should be fine so long as it doesn't require a complete perspective shift in the middle of a paragraph or something.

  5. #5
    Yeah, I wouldn't know what a "sclera" is, and I'd hazard a guess that the average reader wouldn't either. When you're describing entrails and generally turning a character's features into mush, I find it's best to keep things simple. You want your readers to visualize the scene without having to look words up mid-splatter.
    WIP: Cave Draconem (YA dark fantasy), 78k, revising
    Short: 100% Organic (horror), 2000, subbing (Rs--2)

    Blog: http://glitter-n-gore.livejournal.com/

  6. #6
    Been Here A While Feidb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Las Vegas
    Posts
    484
    Simpler is better. Word economy and keep it at a sixth-grade level if whenever possible. Don't try to impress your reader with big words unless you define those words. That means extra narrative that usually slows things down, unless it's a key plot point.

    Action/Adventure/Thriller
    Icky Bug (Horror)
    Fantasy (D&D plot driven)
    Science Fiction Thriller

    http://www.fredrayworth.com

    Rejections as of Dec 31, 2010 = 659
    Good icky bug is a monster that eats half the characters, they say f***k a lot, and there is gratuitous sex that has nothing to do with the plot! LOL.

  7. #7
    And behold... A seed! CalebJMalcom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    The gaseous pit of stupidity
    Posts
    2,587
    I personally think you should use the word sclera. While I know what it is I also understand that some people would not and that would encourage some to look it up. Or in the least make a conjecture of what it is. It also has a better sound and feel for a horror description.

    I don't like the idea of dumbing language down. You should write for your audience yes but if you look at word usage of say Lovecraft vs more modern writers his word choices are far greater and more diversified and in my opinion more beautiful. Also my vocabulary expanded due to authors throwing words I did not know into their books and they didn't explain them they treated their readers like intelligent creatures and just expected them to know and I appreciate those authors for that.
    If he is pretending then he still cares.

    I have a +2 resistance to death but a -5 resistance to injury.

    http://toomuchrambles.com/

  8. #8
    Just me ... dreaming and writing. acelticdream's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    In a house.
    Posts
    222
    I agree with Caleb - don't "dumb down" your writing. That isn't to say use "$20 words" in every paragraph either. But peppering them in throughout your novel just adds to the flavor. This is just my humble opinion as I enjoy text that uses stronger, more cerebral vocabulary from time to time.

    In your example, I am going to assume that somewhere within the paragraph the eye will be mentioned so that the reader, who didn't necessarily know what "sclera" meant prior, would have a fair idea based on your surrounding imagery. Another words, don't let "sclera" be the ONLY mention of the eye/eyeball.
    WIP #1: Man's Inner Beast |*| Murder Mystery |*| Word Count: 13,003 |*| W1S1 Novel Challenge
    WIP #2: Untitled |*| Paranormal Erotica |*| Word Count: 4578
    WIP #3: VIsions of the Unexpected |*| SciFi/Romance |*| Word Count: 20,000
    WIP #4: Matched by Magic |*| Paranormal Romance |*| Word Count: 2000 |*| Camp NaNo 2012


  9. #9
    practical experience, FTW phineas12gauge's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cape Breton
    Posts
    766
    Yes , there is context around that particular fragment so a reader should know its related to the eye

    but I had a reader point out that it might not be the best word to use ... I'm still considering a better word

  10. #10
    Banned
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    2,682
    Quote Originally Posted by phineas12gauge View Post
    I have a scene in my novel where a character gets popped in the eye with a steel pipe. I'm trying to add some little juicy bits of detail to describe what happens but am hitting a bit of a snag.

    Here's an example:

    "sharp little bone fragments punctured his sclera"

    Would the general person know what a sclera is?

    or would you keep it simple

    "sharp little bone fragments bone fragments punctured his eyeball"
    I'm not familiar with the term sclera, but would probably accept it without question if I came across it because of the context.

    If there's a problem with your example, in my opinion, it's because the description is bland and lacks sensory detail, and as written the words 'sharp' and 'little' only add clutter. But I appreciate that it's a small example from a longer piece, and we only see a snippet here.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Custom Search