Snarklings versus the Snarkometer #37

Hollywood, California - 1925

"Come on back," Harry Durand said to his guest. "I was just watching the rushes from my new film."

Two things come to mind at once. Old time movies were called just that: movies. Or pictures. I"m not sure when "film" came into use. You'd need to check it in the OED or other sources. "film" is also used by those who want to sound sophisticated...and from your description of Harry that follows..that's not like him.

Second. "from my new film". If Harry is talking to an industry person (and it sounds like he is) he wouldn't need to explain what rushes are. Rushes can ONLY be from a new movie. And anayone in the movies knows what they are. Over explanation sounds stilted. The best example of over explanations I can think of are the Earl Stanley Gardner Perry Mason books. They are rife with it. I see it a lot in writing from academics, lawyers and doctors who are used to writing everything into a piece. You don't need to do that here. And in fact, you shouldn't. It makes the narrative waddle rather than zip along.

"Is it any good?" He managed to keep the disdain from his voice. Not that Harry would notice. If brains were gunpowder, he couldn't blow his hat off.

"He" is a pronoun. To use it effectively you have to know which noun it replaces. Since the only named person so far is Harry, it sounds like you mean Harry, but you don't. You'll need to use something OTHER than "he" first or it's jarring to the eye. It's even more confusing since your second use of "he" in this paragraph DOES mean Harry.

Nor was his host the most fastidious of people. His hair stuck out from his head in every direction and he had several days' worth of beard growth. And I wouldn't be caught dead wearing that tattered bathrobe. Let alone answering the door in it.

I? This is first person? It's third person in the first paragrpah "to his guest" says third person. "to me" would be first person. How many people are here anyway?

Harry glanced over his shoulder. "You're asking the wrong person if you want an unbiased opinion."

His guest forced a laugh. "I meant was it going well, more than anything else."

"Ah. Well, it's not without its problems, but we'll get them ironed out."

I wouldn't bet on that.

This doesn't read smoothly. That's deadly - and not in a good way- on a first page.

This is a pass.


Anonymous said...

If brains were gunpowder, he couldn't blow his hat off.

I like this line. :)

Molly said...

An oldie but a goodie. :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Miss Snark! I was afraid this had problems. And I was right! :)