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I wonder if it's worth thinking about other ways to keep up the rhythmatics of a sentence, while cutting out abstracting filler words. For example, as you say, this works: "As she climbed the hill and looked out over the stormy sea, suddenly, clearly, she realised he was an idiot." But this doesn't: "She climbed the hill. The sea was stormy. He was an idiot." But this also might: "She climbed up the hill, boots scuffing the path that dead-ended a short way ahead of her and some hundreds of jagged feet above the stormy sea. What would he be doing now? She stopped. A tiny cluster of pebbles tumbled over the edge of the path, and her face went slack. It was clear now; he was an idiot." Personally I like it because it has, I think, all the actions and emotions of the original, seasoned with some appropriately moody scenery and a bit of body language and, yes, internal mental processes that clues us in on her observations and so on, without being told she is "looking" and "realising" something - because we don't need to be told; we've just (hopefully!) had the same stuff conveyed to us via our own "looking" and "reaslisation" synapses. That said, I suppose it is a fair whack more wordy. I imagine (oh, Lord, I'm doing it now! :) ) much hinges on how much emphasis the writer wants to give this particular vignette. If, for reasons of pace - if a load more description came before - we want it short and snappy, we'd choose the original example.
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Aug 25, 2016