thrust her thumbs and forefingers inside the belt

melody_wxf

Member
中文
Hi, I'm writing a short story in English and wondering if the word "thrust" can be used in the context of the following sentence:

"Straightening up, the girl thrust her thumbs and forefingers inside the belt to smooth her clothes, and then tugged at the edge of her coat before answering them coldly."

Does the sentence make sence?

Thanks a lot!
 
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  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    There's nothing wrong with your use of "thrust" in that sentence, melody. I can't quite picture how she uses this gesture to smooth her clothes, however.
     

    melody_wxf

    Member
    中文
    Thank you for your response.
    So which verb do you think would be ideal for such a gesture?

    There's nothing wrong with your use of "thrust" in that sentence, melody. I can't quite picture how she uses this gesture to smooth her clothes, however.
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    I'm still not sure what she is doing with her belt, melody. Is she pulling her pants up? How is she smoothing her clothing?
     

    melody_wxf

    Member
    中文
    The girl was about fifteen years old and was wearing a grass-green imitation military uniform with an oddly wideleather belt around her waist. I think the coat and the belt are a little too big for her. So there are possibly some folds or wrinkles in her coat around her waist.

    I'm still not sure what she is doing with her belt, melody. Is she pulling her pants up? How is she smoothing her clothing?
     
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    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Thanks for the context. In that situation, I suppose that she could smooth out some wrinkles in her coat by pulling on the belt.
     

    melody_wxf

    Member
    中文
    So the sentence "the girl thrust her thumbs and forefingers inside the belt to smooth her clothes" is not natural?
    If it is not, since I want to keep the expression "her thumbs and forefingers", which verb would be ideal to put before it?

    Thanks for the context. In that situation, I suppose that she could smooth out some wrinkles in her coat by pulling on the belt.
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    ... the girl pushed her thumbs and forefingers under the belt to smooth her clothes ...

    On a style note, this is not a natural movement (at least to describe), so it interrupts the reader who will stop and try to figure out what you're talking about. I see that you want to keep "her thumbs and forefingers," which suggests to me that this is one of your "little darlings" -- a phrase you've fallen in love with to the detriment of moving the story forward. I would suggest cutting them off and getting on which your tale. :)

    Here's some unasked-for advice: The Rules of Writing: Kill Your Darlings, by Cameron Chapman.
     

    melody_wxf

    Member
    中文
    Thank you, Copyright. It's very nice of you to give me this piece of advice on writing.

    Yes, I think I should cut off the little darling. So how can I rephrase the sentence to make it a natural movement?

    ... the girl pushed her thumbs and forefingers under the belt to smooth her clothes ...

    On a style note, this is not a natural movement (at least to describe), so it interrupts the reader who will stop and try to figure out what you're talking about. I see that you want to keep "her thumbs and forefingers," which suggests to me that this is one of your "little darlings" -- a phrase you've fallen in love with to the detriment of moving the story forward. I would suggest cutting them off and getting on which your tale. :)

    Here's some unasked-for advice: The Rules of Writing: Kill Your Darlings, by Cameron Chapman.
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    Yes, I think I should cut off the little darling. So how can I rephrase the sentence to make it a natural movement?
    Normally, you cut out or delete your little darlings. I only used "cut off" because they were fingers. :eek:

    "Straightening, the girl smoothed her blouse and adjusted her coat before answering."

    You don't need "answering them" because we probably know who she's talking to, and you can drop "coldly" -- make the "coldly" come out in her dialogue. Let her speech speak for itself -- don't describe it.

    That is more rewriting that we're really allowed to do, but it's just to show you the importance I place on keeping things simple. Describing all the actions she takes to do minor things takes your reader's attention away from the action of the scene.
     

    melody_wxf

    Member
    中文
    Thanks for your sweet advice.

    Yes, your "rewriting" is more concise and natural.

    Normally, you cut out or delete your little darlings. I only used "cut off" because they were fingers. :eek:

    "Straightening, the girl smoothed her blouse and adjusted her coat before answering."

    You don't need "answering them" because we probably know who she's talking to, and you can drop "coldly" -- make the "coldly" come out in her dialogue. Let her speech speak for itself -- don't describe it.

    That is more rewriting that we're really allowed to do, but it's just to show you the importance I place on keeping things simple. Describing all the actions she takes to do minor things takes your reader's attention away from the action of the scene.
     
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