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  1. #1
    alpacinoutd is offline Key Member
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    the contrast between the fire and inside him

    I'm trying to draw a contrast between a fire and inside a person who is cold.

    Is this good?

    She looked at him putting steak on the barbecue. The read meat was sizzling, its aroma filling the entire yard. She couldn't help think about the contrast between the raging fire of the barbecue and his icy cold heart.


    I need to say it in a more subtle way, not directly mentioning the word "contrast." Do you have suggestions?

  2. #2
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Re: the contrast between the fire and inside him

    How about "She couldn't help but compare the raging fire ..."?
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  3. #3
    alpacinoutd is offline Key Member
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    Re: the contrast between the fire and inside him

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    How about "She couldn't help but compare the raging fire ..."?

    Is this good? I mean the whole thing:

    She looked at him putting steak on the barbecue. The read meat was sizzling, its aroma filling the entire yard. She couldn't help compare the raging fire of the barbecue with the icy cold of his heart.

    Also, is there a way I can say he is cold in the above sentence without mentioning "heart"?

  4. #4
    Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
    Charlie Bernstein is offline VIP Member
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    Re: the contrast between the fire and inside him

    Quote Originally Posted by alpacinoutd View Post
    Is this good? I mean the whole thing:

    She looked at him putting steak on the barbecue. The red meat was sizzling, its aroma filling the entire yard. The fire blazed, but she knew it would never thaw his soul.

    Also, is there a way I can say he is cold in the above sentence without mentioning "heart"?
    If it filled the yard, it filled the entire yard. If the yard was full, the entire yard was full.

    Actually, I'd keep heart. It's the best word for what you mean.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

  5. #5
    alpacinoutd is offline Key Member
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    Re: the contrast between the fire and inside him

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Bernstein View Post
    If it filled the yard, it filled the entire yard. If the yard was full, the entire yard was full.

    Actually, I'd keep heart. It's the best word for what you mean.
    You should offer more suggestions of your own like that Charlie.

    Would heart also work with your suggestion?

    She looked at him putting steak on the barbecue. The red meat was sizzling, its aroma filling the yard. The fire blazed, but she knew it would never thaw his heart.

    Also, does the original actually work?

    She looked at him putting steak on the barbecue. The read meat was sizzling, its aroma filling the entire yard. She couldn't help compare the raging fire of the barbecue with the icy cold of his heart.

  6. #6
    Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    Re: the contrast between the fire and inside him

    Quote Originally Posted by alpacinoutd View Post
    You should offer more suggestions of your own like that Charlie.

    I avoid putting words in people's mouths. (It's unsanitary.)


    Would heart also work with your suggestion?

    Yes, that's what I meant. The fire would never thaw his heart.


    She looked at him putting steak on the barbecue. The red meat was sizzling, its aroma filling the yard. The fire blazed, but she knew it would never thaw his heart.

    Also, does the original actually work?

    It makes sense. I shortened it because it was wordy.


    There's a saying that comes from Hollywood: Cut to the chase.

    It means: Sweep out the clutter to get to the good stuff (like the car chase) faster — otherwise you'll put the audience to sleep.


    Some wordy writers are enjoyable: Shakespeare, Faulkner, and Pynchon, for instance. But no one on this forum is any of them!

    And here's another little fix I didn't notice before:


    She watched him putting steak on the barbecue. The red meat was sizzling, its aroma filling the entire yard. She couldn't help compare the raging fire of the barbecue with the icy cold of his heart.
    One of the students here is reading Mrs. Craddock by Somerset Maughm. It's an example of wordiness that does not work well.

    I've mentioned that Elmore Leonard and Raymond Carver are good exemplars of tight writing. They're very different, but they have that in common. Have you tried either of them yet?
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

  7. #7
    alpacinoutd is offline Key Member
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    Re: the contrast between the fire and inside him

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Bernstein View Post
    One of the students here is reading Mrs. Craddock by Somerset Maughm. It's an example of wordiness that does not work well.

    I've mentioned that Elmore Leonard and Raymond Carver are good exemplars of tight writing. They're very different, but they have that in common. Have you tried either of them yet?
    Thank you Charlie. I will check them out.

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