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Eri kissed her dad on the cheek, and waved goodbye to him. He entered back into the car, and then drove off, disappearing gradually at the far end of the street. Once he was gone, Eri glanced around. For the first time today, she became aware of the familiar sights; the zelkova trees behind the houses, the food stands in the sidewalks, the farmer markets. The streetlights casting golden ripples across the Akigawa river. The rice plantations spreading all over the hills, and the green mountains visible on the horizon.

Dad is right, Eri though, with a serene look on her face. No matter what, I'll always have a place to come back. My home.

As you can see, I repeated the many times in the last part of the first paragraph. Because, they are the things that are familiar to Eri (OK, maybe that doesn't make sense. But I feel it sounds better with the "thes"). Also, I cut the list in the middle to avoid making it too long. Not sure how that worked.

Is repetition justified in this case? If not, how would the piece sound better?

(I feel there's something wrong, though I can't tell exactly what it is).

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2 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Nope, it's fine. The repetition and sentence structure give it a dreamy feel, which I think is exactly what you want for that moment. "The" is fairly invisible here.

(P.S. You had "Eri kissed his dad," and I think it's one of your other characters who is transgender, not this one.)

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Oh you're right. Thanks for pointing that out. No more drunk editing. –  Alexandro Chen Sep 13 '13 at 13:06
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Seriously, man. Friends don't let friends edit drunk. If you've had too many, give someone else your keyboard. –  Lauren Ipsum Sep 13 '13 at 13:08
    
I was following Hemingway's advice, "Write sober, edit drunk." –  Alexandro Chen Sep 13 '13 at 13:39
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Well, you see how he ended up. I'd take his advice with a grain or six of salt. –  Lauren Ipsum Sep 13 '13 at 17:01
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I think the paragraph is the right length, but there are a few things that I feel could be described better. Also, I feel the first sentence could be shortened, since it's really just a build-up to the epiphany.

Eri kissed her dad on the cheek, and waved goodbye to him. He entered back into the car, and then drove off, disappearing gradually at the far end of the street.

I feel could be shortened to something like:

Eri kissed her dad on the cheek and then watched him drive away, disappearing gradually at the far end of the street.

Because it seems to be wasted thought on him getting into the car when we can just imply that by him driving.

For the rest of it, I don't feel like the repetition is the problem. Personally, I feel like aware is somewhat of a understatement. I feel like you could use your trademark symbolism here to give the reader a better sense of what it feels like to see everything anew.

The last line is perfect though.

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