Writing Glitch #682

Today’s glitch:

How it should look:

A nightmare comes frequently in which an intruder breaks in and murders my family. As usual, I awake, feverish, to soaked sheets, but tonight they are bloody, and the knife is still in my hand.

Why it should look that way:

A nightmare isn’t a place; you shouldn’t use where when referring to the nightmare itself (although it is of course appropriate when referring to a location in the nightmare).

The example contains inconsistent verb tenses. Since it begins and ends in present tense, I changed the past-tense verb awoke to awake.

Feverishly awoke makes no sense — did the writer mean some word which for feverish is a synonym and simply chose the wrong one? — so I changed it to the closest thing that does.

The second sentence is compound, so add a comma after bloody.




About Thomas Weaver

For several years, I’ve been putting my uncanny knack for grammar and punctuation, along with an eclectic mental collection of facts, to good use as a Wielder of the Red Pen of Doom (editor). I'm physically disabled, and I currently live 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 eight cats. I currently spend my time blogging, reading, editing, and fending off cats who like my desk better than my twin’s.
This entry was posted in Writing Glitches. Bookmark the permalink.

Don't hold back -- tell me what you really think.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.