Bonus “glitch” (a.k.a. “What Is This Nonsense?”)

Look at that again.

Plants… The stars are plants, it says. *facepalm* This has to be just a typo. It has to be, even though it appears twice in a single sentence.

There’s a grammatical error, too. Change have to has.

The stars are actually, indeed, other plants that we can see only because everyone on those planets has their lights on.

I think either actually or indeed should be deleted (and maybe both of ’em), depending on what the writer wants to emphasize. At any rate, using both is redundant.

That takes care of the spelling and grammar. Now for the science…

(If you don’t see that the “science” is wonky here… Well, there’s nothing I can do to help you. Sorry.)

There is no frakkin’ way we’d be able to see lights from any planet other than, maybe, Mars or Venus. One of our closest stellar neighbors, Alpha Centauri B, is a near-twin of our own sun, and yet its light is very dim at this distance. To be even as visible as Alpha Centauri B, the city lights or whatever on these “plants” (*rolls eyes*) would have to be as bright as Alpha Centauri B, right? Imagine city lights being that intense and yet somehow not killing everyone on the “plant”… Ridiculous, yes?

As a fun (I suppose) thought exercise/writing prompt, this one is okay (aside from the bad grammar and spelling), but if I were reading a novel marked as science fiction and happened to see something like this nonsense in the story, I’d (metaphorically, of course) throw the book across the room and then write a bloggish tirade about how badly written it is. Readers are usually willing to suspend disbelief and accept some pretty bizarre things, as long as they’re given sufficient clues that the story’s world isn’t supposed to be like their own. Don’t give them those clues, and they’ll be justifiably outraged when you ask them to accept nonsense. 




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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2 Responses to Bonus “glitch” (a.k.a. “What Is This Nonsense?”)

  1. curioushart says:

    This is funny. Who knew that Venus Flytraps could grow so large!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My interstellar space dragons are looking less ridiculous.

    Liked by 1 person

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