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  1. #1
    alpacinoutd is offline Key Member
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    John and Nicole went back to their flat

    Is this correct and natural?

    John and Nicole went back to their flat that afternoon. They lay on the couch. She nestled her head against his chest, her hair fanning out around his body. "How do you feel about Patrick," he asked stroking sprawled out strands of her hair.

    "Patrick, that lying weasel! I wanted to squeeze the life out of him with my own hands today," she said, her voice surprisingly flat and dull.

    John's thick eyebrows rose, his eyes widening but he slowly lowered his brows and narrowed his eyes, trying to hide his surprise.

  2. #2
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Re: John and Nicole went back to their flat

    Quote Originally Posted by alpacinoutd View Post
    "Patrick, that lying weasel! I wanted to squeeze the life out of him with my own hands today," she said, her voice surprisingly flat and dull.
    Hmm, I'm not sure about that. Her words are natural enough but I don't think those words would/could be uttered in a flat, dull voice. The mere inclusion of an exclamation mark makes that very unlikely. I know you said that her tone was surprising but I don't think it's realistic that such sentences would be uttered in such a voice.
    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: John and Nicole went back to their flat

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    Hmm, I'm not sure about that. Her words are natural enough but I don't think those words would/could be uttered in a flat, dull voice. The mere inclusion of an exclamation mark makes that very unlikely. I know you said that her tone was surprising but I don't think it's realistic that such sentences would be uttered in such a voice.
    Okay. What if I omit that part?

    John and Nicole went back to their flat that afternoon. They lay on the couch. She nestled her head against his chest, her hair fanning out around his body. "How do you feel about Patrick," he asked stroking sprawled out strands of her hair.

    "Patrick, that lying weasel! I wanted to squeeze the life out of him with my own hands today," she said.

    John's thick eyebrows rose, his eyes widening but he slowly lowered his brows and narrowed his eyes, trying to hide his surprise.

  4. #4
    Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
    Charlie Bernstein is offline VIP Member
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    Re: John and Nicole went back to their flat

    Quote Originally Posted by alpacinoutd View Post
    Okay. What if I omit that part?

    John and Nicole went back to their flat that afternoon. They lay on the couch. She nestled her head against his chest, her hair fanning out around his body. "How do you feel about Patrick," he asked stroking sprawled-out strands of her hair.

    "Patrick, that lying weasel! I wanted to squeeze the life out of him with my own hands today," she said.

    John's thick eyebrows rose, his eyes widening, but he slowly lowered his brows and narrowed his eyes, trying to hide his surprise.
    Pretty good. But no one cares whether John's eyebrows are thick. And since she's not looking him in the eye, he doesn't need to hide his surprise.

    Maybe take one more whack at this one.
    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: John and Nicole went back to their flat

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Bernstein View Post
    Pretty good. But no one cares whether John's eyebrows are thick. And since she's not looking him in the eye, he doesn't need to hide his surprise.

    Maybe take one more whack at this one.
    What if he stands up after that?


    John and Nicole went back to their flat that afternoon. They lay on the couch. She nestled her head against his chest, her hair fanning out around his body. "How do you feel about Patrick," he asked stroking sprawled-out strands of her hair.

    "Patrick, that lying weasel! I wanted to squeeze the life out of him with my own hands today," she said.

    John's eyebrows rose, his eyes widening, but he slowly lowered his brows and narrowed his eyes, trying to hide his surprise as he gently pushed her head aside and stood.

  6. #6
    Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
    Charlie Bernstein is offline VIP Member
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    Re: John and Nicole went back to their flat

    Quote Originally Posted by alpacinoutd View Post
    What if he stands up after that?


    John and Nicole went back to their flat that afternoon. They lay on the couch. She nestled her head against his chest, her hair fanning out around his body. "How do you feel about Patrick?" he asked, stroking sprawled-out strands of her hair.

    "Patrick, that lying weasel! I wanted to squeeze the life out of him with my own hands today," she said.

    John's eyebrows rose, his eyes widening, but he slowly lowered his brows and narrowed his eyes, trying to hide his surprise as he gently pushed her head aside and stood.
    That holds together better. As always, picture what your words actually say to make sure they match what you're imagining.
    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
    Tarheel's Avatar
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    Re: John and Nicole went back to their flat

    I'm curious about why he needs to hide his surprise. Does he want her to think he is not surprised? Why is that? Why is he hiding his emotions?
    Not a professional teacher

  8. #8
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Re: John and Nicole went back to their flat

    Now that you have removed the part about her voice being surprising, do you really need him to look surprised?
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  9. #9
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Re: John and Nicole went back to their flat

    Quote Originally Posted by alpacinoutd View Post
    "How do you feel about Patrick?" he asked ...
    See my correction above, which we'd all missed up to now.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  10. #10
    alpacinoutd is offline Key Member
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    Re: John and Nicole went back to their flat

    Thanks folks. About the surprise and him trying to hide it, that is a part of the bigger picture and I'm working on it. But it has to be there.

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