Writing Glitch #126

Today’s glitch:


Here we have yet another comma splice.

Some believe the strange lights are the glow of faeries. Others say they are the lamps or torches carried by the fae.

You could use a semicolon instead of a period after faeries.

(These sentences are awkward, and I wonder if the writer intended to imply a difference between faeries and fae. Whatever. None of my business, right?)


About Thomas Weaver

I’m a writer and editor who got into professional editing almost by accident years ago when a friend from university needed someone to copyedit his screenplay about giant stompy robots (mecha). Having discovered that I greatly enjoy this kind of work, I’ve been putting my uncanny knack for grammar and punctuation, along with an eclectic mental collection of facts, to good use ever since as a Wielder of the Red Pen of Doom. I'm physically disabled, and for the past several years, I’ve lived with my smugly good-looking twin Paul, who writes military science fiction and refuses to talk about his military service because he can’t. Sometimes Paul and I collaborate on stories, and sometimes I just edit whatever he writes. It's worked out rather well so far. My list of non-writing-related jobs from the past includes librarian, art model, high school teacher, science lab gofer… Although I have no spouse or offspring to tell you about, I do have six cats. (The preferred term is "Insane Cat Gentleman.") I currently spend my time blogging, reading, editing, and fending off cats who like my desk better than my twin’s.
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6 Responses to Writing Glitch #126

  1. Steve D says:

    I’m new here. Are these sentences taken from novels you are currently proofreading? Just curious.

    Liked by 1 person

    • No, these examples are mostly from writing prompts I see on Pinterest.

      I wouldn’t share anything from a manuscript I’m editing/have edited without express permission from the author, and it’s unlikely I’d even consider it in the first place.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I actively avoid semicolons. Strange, but true.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Quintessential Editor says:

    Do you wonder about the intention because faeries and fae could be the same, or different, things? I’m asking because this is something I have been researching to help bolster my lack of knowledge.

    This question is also for my own sanity, and I know you specialize in this sort of genre. Do you feel fae commonly refers to an entire species of faerie folk? I know in Celtic mythology fea can refer to pixies, elves, and even things like goblins. It seems to me the term fairy encompasses an entire truckload of magical creatures depending on the mythology. I’m assuming this is why so many stories are coined as fairy tales?

    I understand this is an authors choice when they create their worlds, but how do you see the word “fea” most commonly used in fiction? Or is it too sporadic to even pull a conclusion?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I honestly don’t know what the most common interpretations are these says. I stopped reading urban fantasy (for the most part) when that subgenre started merging too much with paranormal romance. (I’m a big fan of Emma bull’s novel War for the Oaks — I have an Eddi and the Fey concert t-shirt and everything — but that novel was published in the late 80s.) I think the author just needs to make terminology clear in the story; you can’t rely on the reader knowing exactly what you mean, since there doesn’t seem to be a consensus.

      I tend to think of “fae” as either a specific species/race of faerie folk or as generic faerie PEOPLE only, as opposed to magical creatures that aren’t considered people. (Also, sometimes “Faerie” refers to the place these magical beings are from, but “Fae” is not ever used — unless some recent author is doing something weird — as a place name.)

      I hope this helps.


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