Looking for feedback on my writing style. Here is a really short paragraph.

Looking for feedback on my writing style. Here is a really short paragraph. I am working on some doomer, horror, smut type of thing set in a small town but worried my writing feels a bit robotic.
How do I improve it?

"He pulled over and parked on the side of the road. Up ahead he could see an old 3 story apartment building that looked almost deserted. Only 2 windows even had light, the rest of the units were either empty or nobody was home. Their had been no sunset this evening, everythying had just slowly faded into grey. At least the rain had stopped but everything was still wet and miserable. A red stop sign stared back at him from the intersection ahead. "

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  1. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    its really not bad man, I hope you keep writing your story. you can go back and fine tune the style when you edit, but you're doing a good job showing rather than telling which is great. like you set up a cool setting here, and I have no idea what your character is doing in that setting, but it makes I want to find out.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Thanks

      The writing is indeed robotic. I’ll try to maximalize it

      He slowly applied the brake and the car lurched up to the curb. He took the back of his sleeve and wiped a hole through the condensation on the windshield. The entire day had been overcast and dreary, and the world was in convalescence. Up ahead, he saw a dilapidated apartment building. Only two lights were on, the only lights he had seen all day. Down the street he glanced at a stop sign, malevolently piercing through the gloom with a bloody disposition.

      See how I’m giving everything a “texture”? You’d think this guy was about to go kick the door in and murder someone in the apartment, and that his mentality and life are twisted and morose from criminality.

      >"Down the street he glanced at a stop sign, malevolently piercing through the gloom with a bloody disposition."

      That sentance is cool. I see what you mean,

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >He pulled over and parked on the side of the road.
        Redundant. Does it matter where he parked? When we pull over we are stopping on the side of the road.
        >Up ahead he could see an old 3 story apartment building that looked almost deserted.
        Redundant. Looking deserted implies it is almost deserted but probably not deserted.
        >Only 2 windows even had light, the rest of the units were either empty or nobody was home.
        Redundant. You already established the building was mostly empty or at least appeared that way.
        >Their had been no sunset this evening, everythying had just slowly faded into grey.
        There, not their but at leas you are not emphasizing through redundancy. What does this have to do with the apartment building? Paragraph structure is important, topically you just jumped back to the start when he pulled over.
        >At least the rain had stopped but everything was still wet and miserable.
        Is the narrator glad the rain stopped or is he glad the rain stopped? Define and maintain voice.
        >A red stop sign
        As opposed to a green stop sign or a pantone 284 stopsign?
        >stared back at him
        Could work, are you trying to say he is distracted from the apartment building which is supposed to be holding his attention? If so before this paragraph you need to demonstrate some trepidation on his part, if not it serves no purpose.
        >from the intersection ahead.
        Redundant, it could not stare back at him from the middle of the street two blocks over. Stop signs are at intersections and if it "stares back" it is obviously ahead of him.

        Perfectly fine as a first draft but does not have have much in the way of style yet unless your style is redundancy which can work and be a viable style but does not seem to be what you are working towards.

        >That sentance is cool. I see what you mean,
        It is about as far from your style as you can get, you are focusing on the mood of the moment and simple direct language working towards that. Where you fail is in the subtext and not in the verbiage, what you imply is uncontrolled and often redundant. As I said, this is fine for a first draft, subtext never is controlled or consistent in a first draft, second draft refines that. Don't get swayed away from your voice, identify what your voice is and build on it and refine it.

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          >Where you fail is in the subtext and not in the verbiage, what you imply is uncontrolled and often redundant. As I said, this is fine for a first draft, subtext never is controlled or consistent in a first draft, second draft refines that. Don't get swayed away from your voice, identify what your voice is and build on it and refine it.

          Got any book recs that go over these aspects of writing??

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          >identify what your voice is and build on it and refine it.
          By that I mean avoid getting caught up in what you want it to be or what you think it should be, take how you naturally write and build from there instead of working backwards from an ideal.

          >Where you fail is in the subtext and not in the verbiage, what you imply is uncontrolled and often redundant. As I said, this is fine for a first draft, subtext never is controlled or consistent in a first draft, second draft refines that. Don't get swayed away from your voice, identify what your voice is and build on it and refine it.

          Got any book recs that go over these aspects of writing??

          The best book on style is picrel, it really has everything one needs to know about all the nuances of style and offers it in a way that is far more tangible than the standard of studying language, not that you should skip studying language. A simple banal uninteresting two paragraph story told over and over at first with just a change in affect but eventually getting to full on change in style and through this we get one of the most clear and concise examples of what style is and is not and how that affects the story. Best book any writer can read when they are developing their voice. It takes about 2 hours to read but spend the time to study it, identify how and why each version of the story changes the end result.

          It is also a very interesting book to analyze as a novel which is a good exercise as well, style as protagonist. Even if you are not interested in that sort of thing it is worth the time to explore, the abstraction gives good insight into protagonists and style, it will help you see style as something which lives and breaths as much as any character instead of as something static and purely functional like the framing of a building.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            Its here for those after the book.

            I am getting filtered pretty hard by it though I must admit.

            https://pzwiki.wdka.nl/mw-mediadesign/images/a/a2/Raymond_Queneau_Exercises_in_Style.pdf

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            "At the hour when the rosy fingers of the dawn start to crack I climbed, rapid as
            a tongue of flame, into a bus, mighty of stature and with cow-like eyes, of the
            S-line of sinuous course. I noticed, with the precision and acuity of a Red
            Indian on the warpath, the presence of a young man whose neck was longer
            than that of the swift-footed giraffe, and whose felt hat was adorned with a
            plait like the hero of an exercise in style. Baleful Discord with breasts of soot
            came with her mouth reeking of a nothingness of toothpaste, Discord, I say,
            came to breathe her malignant virus between this young man with the giraffe
            neck and the plait round his hat, and a passenger of irresolute and farinaceous
            mien. The former addressed himself to the latter in these terms: “I say, you,
            anyone might think you were treading on my toes on purpose!” Having said
            these words, the young man with the giraffe neck and the plait round his hat
            quickly went and sat down.
            Later, in the Cour de Rome of majestic proportions, I again caught sight of the
            young man with the giraffe neck and the plait round his hat, accompanied by a
            friend, an arbiter elegantiarum, who was uttering these words of censure which
            I could hear with my agile ear, censure which was directed to the most exterior
            garment of the young man with the giraffe neck and the plait round his hat: “You
            ought to diminish its opening by the addition or elevation of a button to or on
            its circular periphery.”

            ...

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            I have not been this filtered by a book in a long time

            "On the platform, pla pla pla, of a bus, chuff chuff chuff, which was an S (and
            singing still dost soar, and soaring ever singest), it was about noon, ding dang
            dong, ding dang dong, a ridiculous ephebus, poof poof, who had one of those
            hats, pooh, suddenly turned (twirl twirl) on his neighbour angrily, grrh grrh,
            and said, hm hm: “You are purposely jostling me, Sir,” Ha ha. Whereupon,
            phfftt, he threw himself on to a free seat and sat down, plonk.
            The same day, a bit later, ding dang dong, ding dang dong, I saw him again in
            the company of another ephebus, poof poof, who was talking overcoat buttons,
            (boorra boorra, it wasn’t as warm as all that . . .)
            Ha ha."

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            On a certain date, a corporate crate on which the electorate congregate when
            they migrate at a great rate, late, had to accommodate an ornate, tracheate
            celibate, who started to altercate with a proximate inmate, and ejaculate:
            “Mate, why do you lacerate, obliterate and excoriate my plates?” But to
            anticipate Billingsgate debate, he hastened to abdicate, and sate.
            An houate aftrate, in front of the Saint-Lazate gate, I notate him agate, talkate
            about a buttate, a buttate on his overcate.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            I'm having flashie backs to Leon bemberging ta ri ri over radish and soupsies in Cosmos.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            It is a simple story with no style of its own revised over and over each time with a different style, whats to get filtered by? Compare each to the original, figure out how it effects the story and you have identified the style.

            On a certain date, a corporate crate on which the electorate congregate when
            they migrate at a great rate, late, had to accommodate an ornate, tracheate
            celibate, who started to altercate with a proximate inmate, and ejaculate:
            “Mate, why do you lacerate, obliterate and excoriate my plates?” But to
            anticipate Billingsgate debate, he hastened to abdicate, and sate.
            An houate aftrate, in front of the Saint-Lazate gate, I notate him agate, talkate
            about a buttate, a buttate on his overcate.

            Skip up to Permutations by Groups if you want to really challenge yourself.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            I am currently getting 100% filtered by this. The audacity to write your entire paragraph in anagrams, not even ulysses was that based.

            In het S sub in het hurs hour a pach of tabou swinettyx, who had a glon, hint
            cken and a tah mmitred with a droc instead of a borbin, had an urmagent with
            athrone gaspenser whom he uccased of stoljing him on sporeup. Having had a
            good oman he dame a shad orf a feer teas.
            An hour trale I emt him in het Cuor ed More, in norft of het rage Tsian-Zalare.
            He saw with a refind who was yasing to him: “You tough to heav an artex
            tutnob upt on your oectrova.” He woshed him hewer (at het peninog.)

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            ok right I see what you mean, it gets even harder at permuatations

            "Permutations by groups
            of 2, 3, 4 and 5 letters
            Ed on to ay rd wa id sm yo da he nt ar re at pl rm fo an of us sb aw is ou ay ma
            ng ho nw ne se wa ck oo st ng lo dw an wa ho ea sw ng ri at ah th wi la ap ro it
            dt un sa he me.
            Den sud est lyh edt art ran oha his gue ghb nei cla our ngt imi hew hat urp asp
            lyt ose din rea his gon sev toe tim ery yon ean tin ego ut oro.
            Verh howe idly erap done aban disc dthe onan ussi eada dmad rava shfo seat
            cant.
            Oursl afewh sawhi ateri ninfr magai thega ontof ntlaz resai gross areen conve
            edina onwit rsati endwh hafri ellin owast ogett ghimt butto hetop sover nofhi
            aised coatr."

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            kek, the permutations took me awhile to figure out. Sonnet and Ode are easy ones to get the sense of what is going on, their being well known and concrete forms help a fair amount.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            I like this one, just adding a random letter to the start of every word because why the frick not.

            Bone aday gabout mmidday, con dthe drear splatform jof va kbus, snot vfar
            ffrom Sparc Omonceau, Oi znoticed ta wyoung gman twhose gneck twas ztoo
            plong hand awho hwas sexhibiting ga shat kwith va splaited acord xinstead yof
            va cribbon cround pit. Xsuddenly che tstarted tto mharangue this nneighbour,
            vclaiming pthat she fpurposely strod Ion this xtoes yevery ktime many
            spassengers fgot sin for tout. Showever hhe crapidly babandoned dthe
            kdiscussion cand ythrew phimself qupon na dvacant tseat.
            Na ffew hhours slater Oi esaw rhim pagain fin ifront kof uthe agare Esaint-
            Blazare dengrossed bin sconversation qwith ga pfriend ewho owas ggiving
            rhim tsome madvice zabout tan novercoat
            bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbutton.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            Its not "why the frick not," put a little more thought into it. Remember, this was his exercise to analyze and understand style. This is one of my favorite books and I can't stop laughing right now.

            Official letter

            I beg to advise you of the following facts of which I happened to be the
            equally impartial and horrified witness.
            Today, at roughly twelve noon, I was present on the platform of a bus which
            was proceeding up the rue de Courcelles in the direction of the Place
            Champerret. The aforementioned bus was fully laden - more than fully
            laden, I might even ventureto say, since the conductor had accepted an
            overload of several candidates, without valid reason and actuated by an
            exaggerated kindness of heart which caused him to exceed the regulations
            and which, consequently, bordered on indulgence. At each stopping place
            the perambulations of the outgoing and incoming passengers did not fail to
            provoke a certain disturbance which incited one of these passengers to
            protest, though not without timidity. I should mention that he went and sat
            down as and when this eventuality became possible.
            I will append to this short account this addendum: I had occasion to observe
            this passenger some time subsequently in the company of an individual
            whom I was unable to identify. The conversation which they were
            exchanging with some animation seemed to have a bearing on questions of
            an aesthetic nature.
            In view of these circumstances, I would request you to be so kind, Sir, as to
            intimate to me the inference which I should draw from these facts and the
            attitude which you would then deem appropriate that I adopt in re the
            conduct of my subsequent mode of life.
            Anticipating the favour of your reply, believe me to be, Sir, your very
            obedient servant at least.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            lol. It is not audacity, did you not read the preface? This was Queneau's own exercise to understand style, the notebook he started when he started writing and later got published.

            Haiku

            Summer S Long neck
            plait hat toes abuse retreat
            station button friend

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            I never read prefaces, that is one of my rules I live my life by.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            Its here for those after the book.

            I am getting filtered pretty hard by it though I must admit.

            https://pzwiki.wdka.nl/mw-mediadesign/images/a/a2/Raymond_Queneau_Exercises_in_Style.pdf

            >no FOREWORD BY UMBERTO ECO WITH AN ESSAY BY ITALO CALVINO
            REEEEEEE...let's fix that.
            https://r1bgendergenre.wordpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/eco-and-calvino-on-queneau.pdf

  2. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    The writing is indeed robotic. I’ll try to maximalize it

    He slowly applied the brake and the car lurched up to the curb. He took the back of his sleeve and wiped a hole through the condensation on the windshield. The entire day had been overcast and dreary, and the world was in convalescence. Up ahead, he saw a dilapidated apartment building. Only two lights were on, the only lights he had seen all day. Down the street he glanced at a stop sign, malevolently piercing through the gloom with a bloody disposition.

    See how I’m giving everything a “texture”? You’d think this guy was about to go kick the door in and murder someone in the apartment, and that his mentality and life are twisted and morose from criminality.

  3. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >"He pulled over and walked to the other side of the road. An old 3 story apartment block ahead looked almost abandoned but for 2 lit windows,-- the rest were either empty or their occupants out. Before there was no sunset-- everything just slowly faded in monochrome from grey to black. The rain paused at least but the world remained flooded. A red stop sign glowered at him from its perch above the dead intersection and bled across the wet bitumen mirroring the blacked out sky overhead."

    ^temporal edit. Original reads like a police report. If the what is there can be put in a timeless present, then the reader can enter into it themselves without any hit to verisimilitude.
    >pulled
    >parked
    >had had had

    >Their had been no sunset this evening
    >Before

    The less real estate between nouns and verbs - the more parataxic - the better the imagery. Propositional AND THEN ... recounting is mechanistic, analytical, doesn't paint the picture-- save it for characters thinking things through.

  4. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I really love this book.

    Opera English
    *
    ACT I.The Dandy, His Neighbour, The Conductor, Chorus of Passengers.
    1. Opening Chorus of Passengers. “All Hail to Phoebus,” etc.
    CHORUS OF PASSENGERS:
    All hail to Phoebus meridian!
    Long live the S quotidian!
    But see! that nullifidian
    With hat of strange device!
    His neck! how long and skinny!
    His voice! how like a whinny!
    As to a nearby Johnny
    He speaks with prejudice.
    2. The Dandy. “Oh hear me, Gods!” Recit.
    DANDY:
    Oh hear me, Gods! Gods, hear me! Why should he on my toes tread?
    I start, I quake, I tremble; I sweat and I see red.
    Ah! if to do it he continues—
    But soft! he hears me!
    NEIGHBOUR:
    Oh say, what ails thee?
    DANDY:
    Sir, if thou continuest to tread on my transductor,
    The Fates will surely constrain me to call, Ah! the conductor.
    NEIGHBOUR:
    His words deep within my heart are sculptured.
    3. The Conductor. “My friends! See, see!”
    Recit. & Aria.
    CONDUCTOR:
    My friends! See, see! the traffic gathers all around us! How shall we
    proceed? O kindly traffic stream! that increaseth and multiplieth so that
    total immobility is reached and the weary passengers will thus listen to
    my song—to thee I give thanks. I start, I quake, I tremble, the sweat pours
    off my brow—but I will sing it.
    FEMALE PASSENGER:
    Oh! I am fainting! (faints)
    CONDUCTOR:
    O sweet and friendly traffic stream,
    This token of my high esteem Receive!
    To thee and thy continued favour
    Is due this modest semi-quaver—This breve!
    How sweet to me thy diesel fumes,
    Thy breath the air of night perfumes And day!
    For when we cannot move along
    Then listen those to my heartfelt song Who pay!
    PASSENGERS:
    Bravo Bravo Bravo Bis Encore Bravo.
    CONDUCTOR:
    Thank you, my friends, thank you. (Repeats his Aria)
    PASSENGERS:
    Bravo Bravo Bravo.
    NEIGHBOUR (to Dandy):
    Sir—
    PASSENGERS:
    He has departed!
    NEIGHBOUR: Ah!
    ACT II
    4. Final Chorus of Passengers. “Ah! once again we see him.
    PASSENGERS:
    Ah! once again we see him
    In front of Saint-Lazare,
    Ah! what a great coincidence,
    ’Tis he! Oh how bizarre!
    But see! that friend who with him talks
    Of buttons, goes too far,
    Too far, ah! too far,
    But see! that friend who with him talks
    Of buttons, goes too far,
    Of buttons, of buttons,
    Of buttons, goes too far.
    * Replacing Italianismes

  5. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >3
    >2
    Write three and two. Convention dictates you use the words themselves instead of shorthand, especially for small numbers. There are exceptions (e.g. the year or an address) but you should stick to it for the most part.

  6. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Also, fix your fricking typos. Nobody's going to do basic line editing. When you're talking about style, it just makes people think you're completely inept.

  7. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >"He pulled over and parked on the side of the road. Up ahead he could see an old 3 story apartment building that looked almost deserted. Only 2 windows even had light, the rest of the units were either empty or nobody was home. Their had been no sunset this evening, everythying had just slowly faded into grey. At least the rain had stopped but everything was still wet and miserable. A red stop sign stared back at him from the intersection ahead. "

    He parked the car and further up the road he could see an old and possibly deserted three story apartment building. It was fading into a grey,wet and miserable day, but at least the rain had eased. The stop sign at the intersection ahead stared back at him.

  8. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    There's absolutely no flow between sentences.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      haha yup, what are some good techniques to fix that?

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >what are some good techniques
        Writing isn't a set of axioms and techniques you pick from a toolbox and put into use. It's an intuitive process. The best thing you can do if you want to learn how to write beautiful prose is to read the best prose stylists. Start with Nabokov.

  9. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >no sunset this evening
    Don't think you need to specify what time of day the sunset didnt happen.
    Also 'old' doesn't give us any information.l about the building. How old? Ancient Rome? Colonial era Connecticut? Soviet era commie block? Are you a zoomer who thinks 2000 is old? I can't tell from the text

  10. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Expand the description, explain why the apartment looks old and deserted. Also give your work some style.

    "He pulled up on the side of the road. Ahead of him was a three story apartment that had seen better days, the walls buried under a mass of cracks, moss and graffiti and the front door splintered in places, with the oak of it long overdue a fresh coat of paint. Two tenants were present, or so he guessed from the the only two windows that glowed that warm tungsten glow.

    The sun had departed absent aplomb, having setted under the horizon long after it had slipped into the crowd of gray that had gobbled up the sky blue beauty of the morning day. The rain of those overhanging office drones of the heavens had only ceased once it was certain all joy had been drenched in the streets below. A red stop sign stared back at him from the intersection ahead, his only companion in this long night, and even it seemed to him a hostile stranger in these strange parts. "

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