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    #1

    Short scene - corrections and style suggestions

    Hello,

    to become better at written English, I wrote several paragraphs of a story. No big idea, just a scene. Could you please take a look at it and share any corrections and suggestions?


    Danny stood in the doorway and tried to grasp the situation. The man he had spoken with over phone stood next to the window, staring outside. His grey business suit contrasted with the colorful dragon tattoo on the back of his bald head. His grunt sat in the armchair, a gun resting in his lap. Danny could feel that he is watching him very closely even though he couldn't see his eyes through dark shades. He immediately felt a strong aversion to him.

    He stood there for what felt like eternity without making a sound. The two men didn't move. He could feel a trickle of sweat running down his spine.

    "Thank you for coming so promptly," the bald dragon interrupted the tense silence.

    "Seemed like I didn't have much of a choice, right?"

    "Why don't you sit down so we can discuss our... business?" turned the man away from the window. His lack of accent was in a stern contrast with the Chinese features of the face looking at him. The man's left earlobe was missing and Danny felt uneasy about it.

    "Seems like I don't have much of a choice either. Right?"

    The grunt in the armchair was obviously waiting for a wrong move. Danny could sense that he enjoys causing pain in others.

    The bald dragon pointed towards an empty armchair just before he sat on the third one. The bodyguard stood up and took a place in front of the door, his back turned to the door, closing it. He put his gun in a holster under his jacket.

    From across the conference table, Danny could watch the man's face in greater detail. He looked young but his eyes seemed wrong. They didn't match his face or voice. Something was off about this guy.

    "Motivation," he said, leaning back, "is a curious thing. What motivates you, Mr. Wade?"

    Before Danny could think of an answer that didn't sound completely stupid, the bald dragon continued: "Most people are motivated by their own selfish interests. Either they are pursuing a profit for themselves or preventing a loss."

    Danny figured he wasn't expecting an answer.

    "The most valuable assets of most people are lives. Their own lives and those of their families. Now, Mr. Wade, are you motivated by preventing the loss of the lives of your family?"


    What I'm particularly interested in:
    • Any missing or extra articles (I tend to forget them and use them where not necessary).
    • There are many pronouns in the first paragraph (maybe in others too but it bothers me in the first one). He, his, him all over. Does it look right to a native speaker? Can this be avoided?
    • Using a "nickname" from someone's description to refer to a person - in this case it might be Bald Dragon (as his name), but using "the bald dragon" without capitals seems more derogatory (from Danny's perspective). Is my feeling for this correct?
    • The bald eagle speech - is it compatible with the way an uber-villain would talk to the poor main character (who should crush him in the end, I guess)?
    • Any other things that don't sound natural or are just wrong.


    Thank you very much.

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    #2

    Re: Short scene - corrections and style suggestions

    I have the following suggestions for you. I have used basic vocab, where a more interesting word would be better e.g. said.
    I won't comment on the content as I'm not a fan of this genre. Therefore no experience.

    Danny could feel that he is watching him very closely even though he couldn't see his eyes through dark shades.
    Danny could feel himself being watched very closely even though he couldn't see the other guy's eyes through the dark shades.

    "Thank you for coming so promptly," the bald dragon interrupted the tense silence.
    "Thank you for coming so promptly," the bald dragon said, interrupting the tense silence.

    "Why don't you sit down so we can discuss our... business?" turned the man away from the window.
    "Why don't you sit down so we can discuss our... business?" said the man as he turned away from the window.

    stern contrast
    stark contrast

    Danny could sense that he enjoys causing pain in others.
    Danny could sense that he enjoyed causing pain in others.

    The bald dragon pointed towards an empty armchair just before he sat on the third one.
    The bald dragon pointed towards an empty armchair as he sat on the third one.

    The bodyguard stood up and took a place in front of the door, his back turned to the door, closing it.
    The bodyguard stood up and took his place in front of the door. With his back turned to the door, he closed it.
    or
    The bodyguard stood up and, taking his place in front of the door, turned his back to the door and closed it.

    Danny could watch the man's face in greater detail
    Danny could see the man's face in greater detail

    The most valuable assets of most people are lives.
    The most valuable asset for most people is life.

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    #3

    Re: Short scene - corrections and style suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by eunice65078 View Post
    this seems a very long description of a fairly simple scene - it would be easier to give specific ideas of more natural speech or writing if the whole thing was shortened quite a bit...
    Yes, you are right. It's quite long and contains various aspects of the language. What I was trying to achieve was to use multiple features in not too long text and get some feedback (like "I would never write this sentence like this, here's a better/the correct way: ..."). Also, I was interested in getting feedback on the style, which requires some context.

    Thanks for your feedback, I'll try to specify my goals in more detail in the future and post smaller pieces of text to focus on a single thing.

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    #4

    Re: Short scene - corrections and style suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by hoges View Post
    I have the following suggestions for you. I have used basic vocab, where a more interesting word would be better e.g. said.
    I won't comment on the content as I'm not a fan of this genre. Therefore no experience.

    ...
    Thank you for the detailed feedback, I struggled with some of the sentenced you improved. Most of them, however started to seem weird only when you suggested a more natural way to express the idea.

    It will be a long way before I'll write that book of mine .

    What genre are you fan of? I want to write short fragments of texts to improve my writing so maybe I'll write something that might interest you next.

    Quote Originally Posted by hoges View Post
    I have used basic vocab, where a more interesting word would be better e.g. said.
    Do I understand correctly that you meant it might be more interesting to write:

    "Why don't you sit down so we can discuss our... business?" suggested the man as he turned away from the window.
    using suggested instead of said? (Just an example)

    Thanks again.

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    #5

    Re: Short scene - corrections and style suggestions

    I thought about my first post and decided to delete it because I did not want to seem rude when you are working so hard to write this type of story. So, sorry - I will think about this in the future before posting :|
    ... and you are right, there usually does need to be some context when considering suggestions for improving clarity.

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    #6

    Re: Short scene - corrections and style suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by eunice65078 View Post
    I thought about my first post and decided to delete it because I did not want to seem rude when you are working so hard to write this type of story. So, sorry - I will think about this in the future before posting :|
    ... and you are right, there usually does need to be some context when considering suggestions for improving clarity.
    Don't worry, you had a point. Anyway, this was really just a fragment of English text to practice my writing, not part of anything (like a story).

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