• anonymous
"The intricate detail elegantly carved into the shaft of the candlestick, the bronzed edges licked with dried wax, the flame dancing from here to there in a symphonic array of light, all lend to its glowing nature." Can anyone suggest some potential storylines that could stem from this? or any way I can make this sentence any betteR?
  • Stacey Warren - Expert
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  • chestercat
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  • anonymous
Wow, you could go almost anywhere with this, and it's a very nice start. If you wanted to improve upon the sentence, you could tone it down a little, streamline it. The style ought never to call attention to itself. Some places to start with that . . . "intricate" and "elegantly" work against one another here. Either the detail is "intricate and elegant" (or maybe "intricate and delicate") or that detail is "intricately and elegantly" (or "intricately and delicately") carved. See what I mean? It's smoother that way. The word "shaft" may be too heavy for this image. Can you find another word that works better with the feel of "intricate" and "elegant"? How about "the slender stem of the candlestick"? Now these words -- intricate, elegant (or delicate), slender, stem -- are all consonant with one another. Then, the bronzed edges of what, the candlestick? Or do you mean the bronzed edges of whatever the candlestick is in? The latter seems to make more sense. And if the wax is now dried (a better word would be one that doesn't bring also the idea of arid into the picture), you don't want to conjoin it with "licked." "Licked" suggests movement, and there is no longer movement in this solid wax. There was movement, and the shape if that cold and hardened wax no doubt captures and freezes some of that movement, but you need a different word here to suggest that arrested movement, that feel of wax pouring down the sides and then pooling and building up, and perhaps spilling again, in layers. The dancing flame is nice. Perhaps "the flame dancing here and there" for more movement (getting rid of "from . . . to"). Or perhaps even "the flame dancing to and fro" if that didn't seem too much in the final version. The "symphonic array of light" doesn't strike quite the right now -- "symphonic" suggests sound, and there is no sound here, only light. So, some other type of array? A shifting array, a kaleidoscopic array? Then the final piece -- "all lend to its glowing nature" -- is a syntactic letdown. There is not enough movement, not enough umph, for this to be the piece the sentence ends on, particularly not with all that build up. The ending should pack a punch. The word "glowing" is nice, and works very well with the image of a candle, particularly in the dark. Can you keep that, and revise the rest? That's a whole lot of stuff. I'm not sure whether that's what you were looking for. You could certainly do a lot with that sentence, and you're moving in the right direction with it.

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