Meet Mr. Nimmet

I have a story that I want to write down and put up for people to read (as kind of web serial but not too long - 4 or 5 stories). I had some parts of it written before, but now, finally, I managed to write what could be the beginning.
I was told that I can write quite well in Polish; now I want to check if I can do that in English too; I mean, they took some time to try to educate us in that language...
Well, here goes nothing (great thanks to n-th-green for proofread!! commas are my enemy); look at it and tell me what you think.

[EDIT] The more I think of it the more I feel I probably still need a short prologue before that... [/EDIT]

Meeting Mr. Nimmet

People talked a lot about Mr. Nimmet, but the truth was nobody could really tell much about him. Oh, there was some obvious information: everybody knew his parents – although since they retired into the countryside nobody has seen much of them – and many have known him since he was a child; but nobody seemed to know him really well.

Mr. Nimmet never appeared extraordinary: he was neither tall nor short, neither ugly nor particularly attractive. Neither bold nor shy, he roamed the salons with casual politeness and calmness of a man who is not afraid of a conflict simply because he is positive he should have no enemies. He used to flirt but, as far as anyone could tell, he never had a serious romance with neither a woman nor a man; actually it seemed that he never even did as much as hire a prostitute. The only scandals he was involved in concerned pieces of art that were of magical nature; and that was only because his deep interest and vast knowledge in this topic made him an expert everyone turned to in doubt or trouble. He was not interested in any scandals that were not connected to this topic; but his sense of humor and skills in conversation were enough for this "flaw" of his to be forgotten in the society. And as the clothes he wore, though new and elegant, always seemed to be slightly old-fashioned and he always wore his hair tied in the back of his neck with a ribbon of the same deep plum color, he was usually considered a bit of an eccentric.

So even though nobody could tell what Mr. Nimmet was doing half of his time, nobody suspected him of anything strange; everybody thought he must simply be appreciating his own collection of interesting works of art, which was said to be really extraordinary and valuable. In the effort to find something amusing about Mr. Nimmet some have hired people to follow him and find out what he is doing in times of his absence; but they discovered nothing more than the fact that he simply goes back to his house and is not taking any guests.

All in all, it seemed that Mr. Nimmet was nothing more than a polite albeit slightly reserved and eccentric gentleman who cared neither about his looks nor about what people were thinking of him.

He worked hard for that reputation.

Marri's picture

Supplicant

I don't think it needs much of a prologue; if you really want one, this would probably work fine as a prologue. I still go by my "make the first sentence catch the readers' attention!" refrain, but it worked pretty well.

Pedes's picture

Postulant

I think it would be interesting if it had a better second sentence to fall on.

There is nothing like feedback to make the mind working again (I've been tormenting this fragment for too long and, as I call it, didn't actually see it clearly anymore).

Gudy's picture

Embodiment

... around the edges, but I'm too tired for a detailed analysis. Linguistically, your tenses are all over the place in some paragraphs, and there are a few errors in the use (or lack thereof) of articles, which is kinda typical for native speakers of Slavic languages.

As far as the story goes, you're dropping a few hints here and there that would make me inclined to want to learn more, but it's not exactly like the story grabs you and doesn't let you go anymore. The first paragraph, especially, feels a bit weak to me (why waste it on his parents when we know so little about the man himself?

Pedes's picture

Postulant

I had a friend proof-read it for me and she said she changed then a lot; I'll look into it again from that angle (and the tenses).

I agree with you on the first paragraph; maybe because of that I have mixed feelings for it to be a beginning? It doesn't give me the exact momentum I need for the story; that is why I asked for feedback Smile

n's picture

next time you ask an English native speaker for proofread ;p

Pedes's picture

Postulant

often tend to be worse in grammar than foreigners after philological studies.

An no, I'm not asking Mr. S XD

Capriox's picture

Embodiment

As a native English speaker, I didn't notice any articles being mis-used. I agree that the tenses shift around a bit, though. One example is 'has been' vs. 'had been'.

Gudy's picture

Embodiment

... Pedes' point, which is an observation I have made as well over the years. Blum 3

OK, so maybe I am kinda picky about this stuff, but here are examples of what I'd consider bad, or at the very least sub-optimal, use of articles:
"he roamed the salons with THE casual politeness and calmness of a man who is not afraid of Angel conflict"
"his sense of humor and skills in conversation were enough for this "flaw" of his to be forgotten in (the) society"
"In AN effort to find something amusing about Mr. Nimmet"

Pedes's picture

Postulant

You're right. Then again I recognize that some of them were changed by my proof-reader... Must go over that once again.

Mith's picture

Supplicant

I think if you state more of those "obvious" things in that first paragraph it might make it seem more... more. For instance that his parents were in the country, he'd lived there all his life (or went to ______ at some point), or that he's unmarried. Listing only one obvious thing makes it a little... I don't know word I'm looking for- it doesn't seem right though. It could also just be the way you break up the prargraphs.

Its an interesting story- if you keep it up, do you plan on continuing woth this style, or are you going to shift it? The current one is a style I like, but most people use it as an introduction- and then get all exciting-dialogue-y.

(sorry for typos, I'm writing on an iPod and it's mostlyright, but sometimes fucks up what i'm trying to write)

Pedes's picture

Postulant

It is the first paragraph that is lacking. You're right, I should give some more information; I just have to plan it carefully so everything would fit together in the end Smile

I'm glad it feels there is a style. I have a few pieces of scenes written and tried maintain the style while writing that part. I'll definitely will try not to get too dialog-y. Whether I manage to do it... well, we will see Wink

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