Wednesday, 2 April 2014
Black Lightning by John Saul
Experiment Number Forty-Seven
It was a ballet the man had danced so many times before that the first steps had become familiar enough to be performed automatically, with little if any thought at all.
This is the opening line of the prologue. Since it is being performed automatically, there is no need to add at the end: with little if any thought at all - as that is what the word automatic means. In fact, this wordiness suggests either an intentional effort to inflate the word count, or an author uncertain his readers are intelligent enough to understand the word: automatically. Other than that, there is no conflict; indeed, quite the opposite, it seems that this dancing man is falling into the steps of success.
The cracked white face of the clock stood in stark contrast to the institutional green of the wall upon which it hung.
The only problem with this line is the institutional green wall. I don't see how the clock stands in stark contrast; I don't even see how it would even be mildly noticeable. That is to say, the image presented in the text isn't properly conveyed or expressed or convincing. I guess we just have to take the author's word for it. The clock is in stark contrast to the wall - trust him.
First thing said:
Uh-oh - conflict, maybe?