Writing Glitch #435

Today’s glitch:

This is one of the first writing prompts I saw on Pinterest that made me want to fix it now (which is how I got into doing these “glitch” posts in the first place), and the problem isn’t even in the grammar or punctuation. According to the basic mechanics of writing, these sentences are correct. Copyediting isn’t about just the basic mechanics of writing, though.

The second sentence of this example is too wordy, too… inflated. (It was the has the scary capability of part that always bugged me. It should just go away. If you must keep it, change capability of being to ability to be.)

“I don’t sleep. My mind can be too dark and demented.”

I’d even go so far as to recommend getting rid of and demented unless there is strong reason for the “not sane” aspect of the character to be mentioned specifically. (The word demented isn’t even being used correctly here, but since the example is dialogue… Whatever. None of my business, right? Freelance editors are so damn bossy sometimes, aren’t they, going around telling the writers who hire them how to improve their writing? *shakes head*)




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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