Writing Glitch #139

Today’s bonus glitch:


Sometimes sentence fragments work. Not this time. In this example, the fragment needs to be combined with the sentence before it.

You wake up in the woods with three others, each of you wearing what you went to bed in. You have no idea how or why you are there. There are four identical boxes with each of your names, and inside each box is a clue as to why you are there.

Unless there’s a real reason not to (for specific and well-considered storytelling purposes), I’d recommend changing others to other people. The sentence beginning with There are is too vague; giving some small description of where the boxes are (Beneath a tree are…) would fix that. I’d also recommend changing the last sentence so there isn’t used quite so often: inside each box is a clue concerning the reason for this strange situation, or something like that.

(I strongly dislike second person narration, by the way. It works all right for writing prompts — that’s what this example originated as — but not for anything longer than a few sentences, because it feels unnatural, invasive, and gimmicky.)


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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