Final correction, Sir
The indiscriminate killing and maiming of people was the order of the day in the city where John lived. The terrorists opened fire and threw grenades, killing hundreds. In the melee, John ran helter skelter to save his life, but he was killed by gunfire. His dead body was lying in the street, alone. The police left no stone unturned to track down John’s address and took several hours to find his mother. When the police broke the news about John’s death in the terrorist attack, his mother struggled hard to hold back tears and began to sob.
While there is still room for improvement, it is much better.
Are you doing this on your own, or for a class? Do you have a limit on the length of the writing required?
I ask because you need to work on both character and plot development -- both are hard to accomplish in stories that are just a paragraph long.
If this is not a class assignment, try writing a paragraph (say 7-9 sentences) that describe John, his mother, and their lives. No action. No plot. Just descriptions. How old is John? How young is young? Does John go to school? Is there a father, or is his mother alone. Who is John's roommate? How did they meet? Does John have a girlfriend? What does he want to do when he "grows up". In other words, why should the reader care about John's death?
The next paragraph might be to explain why violence was the order of the day. What are the terrorists trying to achieve? How do the residents of the city feel about that? What are the police trying to do to stop the violence? Why should the reader fear the random violence that grips the city?
A third paragraph might be about John again. Why did he go out that day? Was he going to work? to school? to meet his girlfriend? to meet his roommate? Was it a nice day? Maybe it was raining. Make the reader feel and understand the day. When the attack began, what was John thinking?
I'll try to give you an example using a real example from own life.
The day dawned, cool and overcast. The news matched the dismal weather that fall morning in 1980. The Roman newspapers cried Lennon è morto! -- John Lennon had been shot in New York. The domestic Italian news was no better. The Red Brigade had kidnapped yet another politician, perhaps the fourth in recent months, and a letter threatening another train station bombing had been delivered in Florence. Altogether, the cloying atmosphere suggested that the decay of Imperial Rome somehow lingered in the air fifteen hundred years after its fall.
But we were young, two carefree American tourists in a foreign land. We had places to go and landmarks to visit, even if it threatened to rain. Still, we remained wary. Maybe we were beneath the Red Brigade's notice, but for the Gypsy pickpockets, we were a definite target.
Our agenda for the morning took us to Santa Maria della Vittoria and Bernini's masterwork, the Ecstasy of Saint Teresa. As we approached the church, three black Ford Suburbans, out of place among the small Fiats on the narrow Roman street, squealed to an abrupt halt before us. Startled, perhaps even afraid, we stopped, transfixed by the scene. A half dozen large and extremely fit young men leapt from the vehicles and took positions on the sidewalk before us. Perhaps the identical black Armani suits and radio earpieces should have been a clue, but our hearts raced even faster as the closest held up a gun and said "arrestare!" -- halt!
The back door of the middle Suburban opened, and out stepped a kindly looking gentleman wearing white. With a smile, a nod toward us, and an amiable "buongiorno," Pope John Paul II entered the church.
In the paragraphs above, I've tried to make you interested in the story and increase the suspense. I could have just said, we met the Pope on the street in Rome.
|link||edited Jul 11 '12 at 18:26 Jeff Pribyl Grammarly Fellow|
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