This joke is a bit odd-placed. You're setting the tone for a horror story and this is the wrong humour for horror.I have never been a decision maker, or at least I don’t think I’ve been.
You need to work on the rhythm of your sentences. I just tried reading it all aloud up until this sentence – your narrator has a tendency to ramble about boring things. Also, I personally advice against using two commas for different purposes in the same sentence. (The first and the third comma in the quoted bit denote different pauses in speech than the second one does.)To my surprise, my great-uncle had left dozens of papers in there as well, and underneath them, a key.
Heh, you make it sound like Massachusetts is just outside of Boston.my family’s manor in Massachusetts, just a mile outside of Boston.
Really? The guy who's bored of the paranormal is greatly concerned about … people dying with some foreshadowing next to them? At this point in the story I was expecting him to bore of the papers and start taking up origami.Understandably, the whole matter greatly concerned me, leaving me sleepless for two straight nights.
Should be "on the 26th" or possibly "on the twenty-sixth", unless I'm missing some old way of writing dates.on the twenty sixth
You do not, in my opinion, have enough substance to the story to spend a great deal of words describing a scene. I am at this point not at all interested in what is in the box.232 words of foreplay for opening a damn box
Don't know what the first sentence quite means, except that you're definitely playing up the idea that those 232 words were actually foreplay. I think there's some misplaced punctuation at "one of his saucier—yet nonetheless edifying lesson—". (And of course something that pummels another thing is going to be uncaring or cruel. Really. The gang of grandmas that beat me up wanted to see me hurt. The guy that bought sex from me was a solicitor. Etc.)The emotions that pummeled my sensitive, gentlemanly demeanor were cruel and uncaring toward it. I was subjected to horror, fascination, and horror all over again. I was subjected to what my anthropology professor in university called an adrenaline rush, during one of his saucier—yet nonetheless edifying lesson—he posited that more than sixty percent of human population was conceived during at least one partner’s rush—and at that moment I knew why old Mr. Taffet correlated the feeling with sex.
This sentence is awesome, though. It's the 'conversely' and the part that follows it that does it.Having no idea how this woman in San Francisco obtained a key just like my great-uncle’s—or, conversely, how my great-uncle obtained a key like that of this woman in San Francisco—intrigued me greatly, perhaps most greatly.
This is a good line, too.In a way I never left that cavern under Boston, because my thoughts never could.
Kurt Vonnegut wrote:5. Sound like yourself
The writing style which is most natural for you is bound to echo the speech you heard when a child. English was Conrad's third language, and much that seems piquant in his use of English was no doubt colored by his first language, which was Polish. And lucky indeed is the writer who has grown up in Ireland, for the English spoken there is so amusing and musical. I myself grew up in Indianapolis, where common speech sounds like a band saw cutting galvanized tin, and employs a vocabulary as unornamental as a monkey wrench.
In some of the more remote hollows of Appalachia, children still grow up hearing songs and locutions of Elizabethan times. Yes, and many Americans grow up hearing a language other than English, or an English dialect a majority of Americans cannot understand.
All these varieties of speech are beautiful, just as the varieties of butterflies are beautiful. No matter what your first language, you should treasure it all your life. If it happens to not be standard English, and if it shows itself when your write standard English, the result is usually delightful, like a very pretty girl with one eye that is green and one that is blue.
I myself find that I trust my own writing most, and others seem to trust it most, too, when I sound most like a person from Indianapolis, which is what I am. What alternatives do I have? The one most vehemently recommended by teachers has no doubt been pressed on you, as well: to write like cultivated Englishmen of a century or more ago.
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