the novel being constructed

LeoBritish

Senior Member
Turkish
Each has the job of writing his chapter so as to make the novel being contructed the best it can be.

being is a reduced relative clause, isn't it?

Each has the job of writing his chapter so as to make the novel WHICH IS being contructed the best it can be.

and

Each has the job of writing his chapter so as to make the novel the best. The novel can be contructed the best.

or

Each has the job of writing his chapter so as to make the novel the best. The novel is being contructed the best.
 
  • Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    I'd say your first guess is the best, a reduced relative, but before being sure I'd like to know what you are talking about. If each chapter is written by a different person, how will this make a good novel? It's puzzling.
    If you write a sentence, you should know what you want it to mean.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Yes, the use of the present participle to form a non-finite construction is often referred to as a reduced relative clause. But in some schools of thought it would probably only be described as a participle (or participial) phrase. Either way, it modifies the noun “novel” and so is adjectival.
     

    LeoBritish

    Senior Member
    Turkish
    I'm not sure what is happening here, or who 'each' refers to, but I think you mean:

    . . . so as to make the novel the best it can be.

    Forget 'being' and forget 'constructed.'
    Each has the job of writing his chapter so as to make the novel. The novel is being contructed the best it can be.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Not quite. You’re trying to use “the best” adverbially (in the best way).

    But best is the superlative of the adjective good. So the meaning is: to make the novel … the best novel that it can be.
     

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    ...The novel is being contructed the best it can be.
    No, that's not what it means. Let's call the novel "Summertime". Now let's compare three sentences:
    1. Each has the job of writing his chapter so as to make the novel being contructed the best it can be.
    2. Each has the job of writing his chapter so as to make the novel under contruction the best it can be.
    3. Each has the job of writing his chapter so as to make the novel Summertime the best it can be.
    The three sentences have the same form. In all of them the term in bold defines what novel we're talking about (by an adjectival phrase in 1 and 2, by its title in 3). The phrase in bold could be deleted in all three without making the sentence ungrammatical.
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    This grammar is all very well, and I prefer thinking of the participle as adjectival, but I still have difficulty with the 'grammar' of a sentence that doesn't seem to make sense.
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    The idea of one person writing a chapter to create the best possible novel has about as much sense as one person designing each room exterior and interior for a house. Whatever the idea, the use of a participle construction seems misplaced in the expresssion of it.
     

    LeoBritish

    Senior Member
    Turkish
    So rewrite it as:
    Each has the job of painting his own room, so as to make the house under contruction as beautiful as can be.​
    That's pretty comprehensible, no?
    Each has the job of painting his own room, so as to make the house WHICH IS under contruction as beautiful as can be.

    "which is" is a reduced relative pronoun, isn't it?
     

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    The idea of one person writing a chapter to create the best possible novel has about as much sense as one person designing each room exterior and interior for a house. Whatever the idea, the use of a participle construction seems misplaced in the expresssion of it.
    Many people, including famous authors going back at least as far as Shakespeare, have used this chapter-by-chapter method of writing. Sometimes the results are "as beautiful as possible" for the specific method used.

    But the participle phrase "being constructed" has nothing to do with the literary merits or otherwise of the finished novel. It's a totally neutral two-word adjectival phrase, equivalent to the more common (work) "in progress", (house) "under construction".
     
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    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Sorry, but I have no idea what point you’re making or what question you’re asking now. :confused:

    the novel [that is] under construction :tick:
    the novel [that is] being constructed/written :tick:

    With “that is” included, these are relative clauses modifying “the novel”.
    Without “that is” included, they can be described as reduced relative clauses modifying “the novel”.
     

    LeoBritish

    Senior Member
    Turkish
    Sorry, but I have no idea what point you’re making or what question you’re asking now. :confused:

    the novel [that is] under construction :tick:
    the novel [that is] being constructed/written :tick:

    With “that is” included, these are relative clauses modifying “the novel”.
    Without “that is” included, they can be described as reduced relative clauses modifying “the novel”.
    That is what I am asking for you or what I am trying to learn. Thank you very much. :)
     

    lentulax

    Senior Member
    UK English
    Many people, including famous authors going back at least as far as Shakespeare, have used this chapter-by-chapter method of writing. Sometimes the results as "as beautiful as possible" for the specific method used.
    Many? One novel, written by several people each contributing one chapter? Various authors have produced work in collaboration with others, but not (as far as we know) following this method, whether it's Beaumont and Fletcher (ok, substitute 'scene' for 'chapter') or (allegedly) Dick Francis and his family. Only in more recent times (20th century on) have we seen collaborative novels involving a whole group of writers, whether amateur groups or professional writers' collectives. Both often make a point of secrecy in respect of the individual contributions to the finished work, and the latter are less open about their working methods than the former, but in both cases, from what the groups have disclosed, the collaborative method is never a 'chapter per writer' method. Of course, individual authors have often published their work in instalments, in some (famous) cases the work not having been completed before the serialisation began, but that's a different matter - one author, one novel. In general, group writing has not been very successful (in terms of quality of product); the only writers' collective whose name I remember who published collaborative work (perhaps because they have had some success) was (perhaps 'is') the Luther Blissett Project, which later became Wu Ming; but from what they've told us, the 'one chapter each' was not their working method.

    EDIT UPdate : just checked - Wu Ming is still going. I see it was actually involved in one project (in 2001-2)close to the one author per chapter model, described on their website as 'a short novel ... the result of an experiment in on-line collective writing. WM2 wrote the first and last chapter, the other ones were written by assorted websurfers and selected by a jury in a literary kangaroo court.' It's called Ti chiamerò Russell; I can't say whether it's any good, as I haven't read it yet , but it's available (free) from their download page (in Italian only). Perhaps the OP's original quotation referred to this, though in that case some context would have been helpful, since it seems to be a unique creation.
     
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