In case you found that last one too easy (“Commas in compound sentences again?”), here’s another glitch for today:
World-class is a compound adjective; so is handwritten. Unfortunately, there’s no clear, hard-and-fast (see what I did there?) rule about when to use a hyphen for such words and when to run them together into a single word, so you may just have to look a word up if you’re unsure. The compound adjective nine-year-old also needs hyphens (and remember that it’s nine-year-old, not nine year-old or nine-year old).
Money is covered by one of those few exceptions to the rule about spelling out numbers. Says The Chicago Manual of Style (9.16), “If an abbreviation or symbol is used for the unit of measure, the quantity is always expressed by a numeral.” When you use a dollar (or pound, euro, etc.) sign, use numerals, but if you write x dollars, spell it out. (Also, don’t write $10 dollars or $6 thousand. These are redundant and wrong.)
A world-class contract killer finds an envelope at his dead drop. Inside is $23.92 in small change and a letter, handwritten by a nine-year-old girl.
A compound sentence needs a comma before the conjunction.
I’ve been to nine planets in twelve years, and it’s starting to show.
You can tell this is a compound sentence because you could delete the conjunction and make two smaller sentences: I’ve been to nine planets in twelve years. It’s starting to show. The flow changes — becomes slightly choppy –when you do that, but that may be exactly what you want.
Kudos to the person who created this example for spelling out the numbers and for using the correct form of it’s.
It’s a bad idea for real life, which is probably why it would make good fiction.
You don’t need both potential and future. If you don’t mean to imply that the people detected will murder, only that it’s likely, use potential.
The second sentence begins, Those who were tested positive as a potential murderer… At the least, this should be changed to, Those who test positive as potential murderers — if you’re talking about a plural subject, keep it plural.
Other changes were made for clarity and flow (including chopping out a part of the second sentence that I just told you how to fix).
A machine has been created to detect potential murderers. Those who test positive are sent to a deserted island to fend for themselves. You are one of those people.
Full-blooded is a compound adjective and needs a hyphen. So does utopian-type (which ought to be shortened to utopian, or at least changed to utopia-type, but whatever).
A full-blooded human suddenly appears in a utopian future where hybrids are normal and humans are creatures of myth.
This sentence needs a comma after the introductory phrase.
Saying shoved him in the water implies the person was shoved while he was in the water, whereas shoved him into the water means the shove is what put him there.
Also, changing the location of the adverb nonchalantly would greatly improve the flow of the sentence.
Fed up with his constant whining, the training instructor nonchalantly walked up behind him and shoved him into the water.