Writing Glitch #212

Today’s first glitch:

glitch228

It is the year 2300. The United Queendom is brutally suppressed. The national anthem is censored. Reading is against the law and punishable by death. Citizens are reduced to scavenging, and New London is almost completely destroyed.

Y’know, this is a fine example of how present-tense narration can go horribly wrong. The national anthem is censored. Does the writer mean the national anthem is in the process of being censored right now, or the national anthem has been censored? What does is brutally suppressed mean? I’m not sure I trust the writer to have used the correct words there. Let’s see if we can make this work better by changing a few verbs…

It is the year 2300, and the United Queendom has been brutally suppressed. The national anthem is censored. Reading is against the law and punishable by death. Citizens are reduced to scavenging, and New London has been almost completely destroyed.

(The thing about working with an actual author on an actual manuscript is that I can ask them what they mean and then help them clarify it, whereas editing a little writing prompt found on Pinterest, of all places, means I have to guess sometimes.)

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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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