Today’s second glitch:
I’m… not gonna try to figure out if the writer is even using the word psychic correctly. (Why it may or may not be the correct word is a matter for a different post, one in which it would not be inappropriate — or at least no more so than usual — for me to explain that even made-up concepts do sometimes have real definitions.)
Add a comma after psychic, because the sentence is compound and thus requires a comma before the conjunction.
Change the comma after similar to either a semicolon or a period.
She wasn’t psychic, but she was something very similar; she just couldn’t figure out what.
Yeah, it sucks when you’re not sure whether you’re a short-range precog, a clairvoyant, a telepath, or something else entirely. 🙂 (First movie quote that comes to mind: “Why are you psychic?” — Scott to his “fake high school girlfriend” Knives, in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. We like this quote because he asks why she is, which implies the assumption that she is. Second movie quote that comes to mind: “You’re crazy, you know. That’s probably why you’re psychic.” — someone speaking to Rutger Hauer’s character in Split Second. Always thought he has that backwards, but whatever…)
Today’s first glitch:
How it ought to look:
He left her waiting, still bleeding under the oak, with every intention of returning, but he was captured before he had the chance.
All this example needs is a comma after get.
“How we didn’t get killed, I don’t know.”
And now… the explanation:
I don’t have an official jargon-y term handy, but basically you need a comma there because the word order of the sentence is sort of flipped around, with the predicate verb’s dangly bits at the beginning instead of after the verb. Think of this as a “Yoda comma” if you like. (No, I’ve never encountered that term before — as far as I know, I just made it up — but I do get tired of seeing doofus little internet memes about how Yoda would sooooo totally not be able to diagram a sentence because his English is sooooo totally wrong because it’s sooooo totally backwards… as if English — and all languages, including invented ones — must always place subject before predicate. *sigh* The sentence would be diagrammed the same way in any case: subject on the left, predicate on the right. That doesn’t mean it has to be written/spoken in that order. Foolish, you are, if assume you that all languages follow English’s sort-of rules of syntax. Studied Spanish, you have not, if believe you this. 🙂 ) The example sentence can, of course, also be written as I don’t know how we didn’t get killed. Notice that it doesn’t have a comma in this version.
(Today is one of those days when WordPress’ built-in, automatic and annoyingly stupid spelling checker doesn’t recognize comma as a real word. I have been advised that I should change that word to coma, as in, “…basically you need a coma there because the word order of the sentence…” *facepalm* Yeah, that sooooo totally makes more sense.)
Voluminous is used incorrectly; that word means billowy/loose and flowing, not big. (This is what happens when you don’t use a dictionary to keep your pet thesaurus in check.) Replace it with an appropriate adjective.
The ampersand (&) is used incorrectly, too. Replace it with and. Then add a comma before and.
The end of the example sentence… *shakes head* I understand (and strongly agree with) the sentiment expressed, but it is expressed badly. All opinions are not equal actually means all opinions are unequal, and that’s not what the writer was trying to say. (I know it’s currently trendy or whatever to tell new writers that they must Avoid Negative Statements At All Costs — yes, friends, those are sarcasm/snark capitals — but seriously, what the fuck? Do these people even think about what their words and sentences mean, or do they just flap their fingers at the keyboard like the proverbial infinite chimpanzees and hope for the best?) Word order matters; all are not doesn’t mean the same as not all are. Change that last bit to not all opinions are equal.
Repeating “evolution is a hoax” like a mantra is much simpler than reading a huge book on alleles, phenotypes, and observable genetic drift, but it’s also the perfect example of why not all opinions are equal.
Here’s the blurb again, for anyone who missed it before:
A Daring Mission into the Heart of Darkness…
The war against the horrific Theta entities reaches new heights as the Sentient Concord is forced to fight on multiple fronts against both the struggling Earth Federation and the Wolf Empire.
Commander Hrothgar Tebrey is at the forefront of those battles, bringing the fight to the enemy again and again. He is the last hope of humanity, the only person who can consistently stand up to the Thetas and win. But never-ending war takes its toll. Tebrey knows he needs to take the fight to the Thetas if there is to be any hope for the future.
The Thetas think they are invulnerable, but they have a fatal flaw: One of their own has turned back from the darkness, and he knows where to strike against the Thetas to end the war forever.
When I first started to write the post to go with this example, I gave up almost immediately, typed (nope) as a placeholder, and went on to the next one. Sometimes, even this Wielder of the Red Pen of Doom (DOOM, I tell you!) can’t face any more wonky sentence structures…
Change the first sentence to this: You are an ancient evil, sealed away in a treasure-filled vault that can be opened only by solving a puzzle, which will remove the magic seal.
(I got rid of the last bit because there’s no way to know what the author intended to say — I suspect there’s a homophone glitch/misinterpretation lurking there — and I don’t have the mental energy to bother with it right now.)
The second sentence is fine as it is.
A while back, I shared the blurb for Paul’s latest novel, The Sleeping and the Dead.
We now have cover art, too: new, original cover art by Jereme Peabody, the same guy who created the art for the previous three books in this series. (The link will take you to his gallery on Deviantart.) I just saw the final version this afternoon, and it looks great. As soon as the full cover is complete, I’ll share that here.