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Does this wordplay distract?

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Joe Benet
Posts: 86
Bronze Star Member
Topic starter

Presume you're reading along a short story just fine, no bumps yet. Then, nearing the very end of a high-action climax, you read this single-sentence paragraph below. Two questions. 1) Is the word "howled" used accurately? 2) More importantly, does the phrasing pull you out of the story?

The wind howled an angry growl, and grew ever more impatient that the living still ruled the stable.

Edit: "impatient that the living still ruled the stable." In the story, there are forces trying to kill our protagonist and his companions. The wind is personified as representing the will of all those forces arrayed against them, conveying that the characters feel like even nature itself is out to get them.

The question is more about the "howled an angry growl" phrase.

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Posted : September 14, 2021 7:06 am
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Disgruntled Peony
Posts: 1283
Platinum Member

Howling and growling are two very different sounds in my mind, so that threw me off a bit. I'd recommend picking one and using a metaphor to describe the intensity of the sound instead--what are they howling or growling like?

As for the second half of the sentence, it confuses me. It might not in context, but I honestly have no way of being certain. It's worth examining in the larger context of the story and trying to figure out if it makes sense or if it's simply trying to sound clever. (There's nothing wrong with trying to sound clever--so long as it makes your reader feel clever, too.)

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Posted : September 15, 2021 5:43 am