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  1. #1
    alpacinoutd is offline Key Member
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    Alice wanted to buy eggplants.

    Is this correct and natural?

    Alice wanted to buy eggplants. She decided to walk from her place to the mysterious bazaar. A narrow alleyway, part dirt, part asphalt, joined the main part of the bazaar which was on a street that ran from the east to west of the city. Stepping into the bazaar, Alice felt the stink of sweating men and women sting her nose. The bazaar had an arched adobe ceiling dotted with holes through which rays of a merciless July sun were filtering, catching the dancing particles of dust in the air. The shops were crammed so close together that you couldn't get the tepid breezes that ran off the river nearby, yet Alice felt invisible streams of hot air hitting her face, making it harder for her to breathe. There were many fans overhead but only a few of them spun half-heartedly. The merchants were shouting over one another, trying to entice the customers. A scrawny nightingale in a cage stared at the passing shoppers, waiting for the night to sing its sorrows away. There was a woman clad in a black burka, sprawled out on the ground. Alice thought she was sick but she realized she was a beggar, stretching her hand towards the passers. Looking out of place, Alice attracted unwanted stares. As she walked towards the fruits section, she noticed a tall, thin man following her, making no effort to hide his interest in her. He had curly hair and a swarthy skin. Feeling her heart beat faster, Alice paced towards a shabby building in the corner of the bazaar, opened the door and ran up the stairs, reaching a door that was locked. Looking over her shoulder, Alice saw the man with curly hair, standing still down the stairs with an inscrutable expression. She whimpered, striding downstairs and pushing him aside, running towards an alley that led to the river.

  2. #2
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Re: Alice wanted to buy eggplants.

    Why would one go to a mysterious bazaar to buy eggplants (aubergines in BrE)? One would go to a vegetable market.
    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: Alice wanted to buy eggplants.

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    Why would one go to a mysterious bazaar to buy eggplants (aubergines in BrE)? One would go to a vegetable market.
    In Middle Eastern countries, all the shops are concentrated in the bazaar which has different sections.

  4. #4
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Re: Alice wanted to buy eggplants.

    OK, but why does it need to be described as "mysterious"? I think you're trying too hard to make all your sentences interesting and it's getting in the way of the facts. I'd open with "Alice decided to walk to the nearby bazaar to buy eggplants". That's nice and simple. After that, you can use more flowery language in the description of the bazaar.
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 08-Apr-2021 at 14:03.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  5. #5
    alpacinoutd is offline Key Member
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    Re: Alice wanted to buy eggplants.

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    OK, but why does it need to be described as "mysterious"? I think you're trying too hard to make all your sentences interesting and it's getting in the way of the facts. I'd open with "Alice decided to walk to the nearby bazaar to buy eggplants". That's nice and simple. After that, you can use more flowery language in the description of the bazaar.
    Okay. What about this?

    Alice decided to walk to the nearby bazaar to buy eggplants. A narrow alleyway, part dirt, part asphalt, joined the main part of the bazaar which was on a street that ran from the east to west of the city. Stepping into the bazaar, Alice felt the stink of sweating men and women sting her nose. The bazaar had an arched adobe ceiling dotted with holes through which rays of a merciless July sun were filtering, catching the dancing particles of dust in the air. The shops were crammed so close together that you couldn't get the tepid breezes that ran off the river nearby, yet Alice felt invisible streams of hot air hitting her face, making it harder for her to breathe. There were many fans overhead but only a few of them spun half-heartedly. The merchants were shouting over one another, trying to entice the customers. A scrawny nightingale in a cage stared at the passing shoppers, waiting for the night to sing its sorrows away. There was a woman clad in a black burka, sprawled out on the ground. Alice thought she was sick but she realized she was a beggar, stretching her hand towards the passers. Looking out of place, Alice attracted unwanted stares. As she walked towards the fruits section, she noticed a tall, thin man following her, making no effort to hide his interest in her. He had curly hair and a swarthy skin. Feeling her heart beat faster, Alice paced towards a shabby building in the corner of the bazaar, opened the door and ran up the stairs, reaching a door that was locked. Looking over her shoulder, Alice saw the man with curly hair, standing still down the stairs with an inscrutable expression. She whimpered, striding downstairs and pushing him aside, running towards an alley that led to the river.

  6. #6
    Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    Re: Alice wanted to buy eggplants.

    Quote Originally Posted by alpacinoutd View Post
    Okay. What about this?

    Alice decided to walk to the nearby bazaar to buy eggplants. A narrow alleyway, part dirt, part asphalt, joined the main part of the bazaar, which was on a street that ran from the east to west of the city. [Do we need to know it runs east to west?] Walking into the bazaar, Alice felt the stink of sweating men and women sting her nose. The bazaar had an arched adobe ceiling dotted with holes through which rays of a merciless July sun were filtering, catching the dancing particles of dust in the air. The shops were crammed so close together that they blocked/stopped/defeated the tepid breezes that ran off the river nearby, yet Alice felt invisible streams of hot air hitting her face, making it harder for her to breathe. [You is rarely used in fiction narrative.] There were many fans overhead, but only a few of them spun, half-heartedly. [Without a comma it would mean the others were spinning fast.] The merchants were shouting over one another, trying to entice the customers. A scrawny nightingale in a cage stared at the passing shoppers, waiting for the night to sing its sorrows away. [This means the night is waiting to sing its sorrows. Rephrase.] There was a woman clad in a black burka, sprawled out on the ground. [Confusing. Do you see why? Better: A woman clad in a black burka was sprawled out on the ground.] Alice thought she was sick, but she realized she was a beggar, stretching her hand towards the passers. Looking out of place, Alice attracted unwanted stares. As she walked towards the fruits section, she noticed a tall, thin man following her, making no effort to hide his interest in her. He had curly hair and a swarthy skin. Feeling her heart beat faster, Alice walked/headed/hurried/veered towards a shabby building in the corner of the bazaar, opened the door, and ran up the stairs, reaching a door that was locked. Looking over her shoulder, Alice saw the man with curly hair, standing still down the stairs with an inscrutable expression. She whimpered, striding downstairs and pushing him aside, running towards an alley that led to the river.
    Since he doesn't try to stop her, fleeing him seems odd.
    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
    Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    Re: Alice wanted to buy eggplants.

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    OK, but why does it need to be described as "mysterious"? . . .
    It probably doesn't.

    Al, very generally, atmospheric words don't work. They tend to add vagueness where clarity is wanted.

    The big mystery here, of course is why she wants eggplants!
    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.

  8. #8
    Tarheel's Avatar
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    Re: Alice wanted to buy eggplants.

    Al, you have a tendency to humanize inanimate objects. What am I referring to? Well, it's hard for me to imagine a fan spinning halfheartedly. (Slowly, perhaps.) In fact, it seems rather creepy that fans express human emotions.
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  9. #9
    Tarheel's Avatar
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    Re: Alice wanted to buy eggplants.

    It seems odd that the burka clad woman was sprawled on the ground. Her being in a seated position makes more sense to me. (How does that advance the story?)
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  10. #10
    Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    Re: Alice wanted to buy eggplants.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tarheel View Post
    It seems odd that the burka clad woman was sprawled on the ground. Her being in a seated position makes more sense to me. (How does that advance the story?)
    In other words, you want to make sure she's part of the story.

    So how about it, Al? How does she figure in?
    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.

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