Writing Glitch #338

Today’s glitch:


Replace the comma after me with a period or a semicolon.

It’s is not the possessive form of it; it’s is the contraction of it is.

I dropped in my mind because those words are unnecessary; they clutter up the sentence and disrupt its flow rather than adding anything to it.

I instinctively knew it was there to take me; I had no question of its intentions. I was completely terrified.

I am very much not a fan of people who parrot “Show, don’t tell!” at every opportunity (“Don’t tell us the character drove a blue car — show us!”), but some sentences really are written with too much telling/not enough showing for the purpose they serve in the story. The example sentences here are all telling. This works if the character is actually telling someone about this event well after the fact and just wanting to sum up what happened without making the listener feel the terror they’d felt earlier. If that’s not the case, there needs to be some description of what “completely terrified” looks/feels like.


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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