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. 




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Link: “Powered Armor in Science Fiction (Books)”

Today, my clone-sibling (identical twin) Paul has a blog post about powered armor in science fiction novels. He talks a bit about the different types of such armor (piloted versus cybernetic, for example) and then gives brief descriptions of a handful of novels in which powered armor appears. There’s also a little bit of the history of powered armor in sci-fi. (Fun fact: it didn’t originate in the Iron Man comics, and certainly not in computer games.)

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Writing Glitch #425

(Glitch #424 was too boring; it had to go away.)

Today’s second glitch:

Always use a comma or commas to separate a direct address, even when addressing someone who isn’t actually present, from the rest of the sentence. (You do know how to do that, don’t you, O Reader of my blog? 🙂 )

Do not capitalize the first word following a dialogue tag when it’s a continuation of the sentence that began before the tag.

“Okay, hot boy who sits next to me in English class,” she whispered to herself, cracking her knuckles and grabbing a pen, “get ready to be cyberstalked!”

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Writing Glitch #423

Today’s first glitch:

Change the comma after age to a period.

Delete the comma after is known and capitalize She before it.

This young girl is very powerful for her age. She can heal people and predict the future. She is known far and wide. Even the rich and powerful travel across the world for a few moments of her time.

Powerful seems to mean different things in different sentences here; in the first sentence, it refers to the girl’s “powers” (healing and predicting the future), whereas in the second sentence, it seems to mean important/influential. Consider replacing the first powerful with something else.


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Bits and pieces: May 22

It shouldn’t bother me, but it does… I don’t like anyone shortening my name. I’m Thomas, not Tom (and gods help you if you call me Tommy to my face). If that’s too hard to remember, just call me Weaver instead (the way all my imaginary friends do 🙂 ).

Somehow, I’ve been identified as an autism blogger, even though I have only four posts with autism as one of the tags. (Quite a few of my posts do have snarky asides about “Teh Experts,” who think I’m incapable of being sarcastic, using metaphor, recognizing or even feeling emotions, etc., because I’m autistic.) The first thing that popped into my head when I found out (through a comment on this blog) was, “Thomas Weaver, Defender of Words and Wielder of the Red Pen of Doom, helping neurotypicals communicate better in writing since 1996.” (That’s inaccurate: At least one of the authors whose fiction I edit is autistic. And a damn good writer, which ought to be enough to make a point of some kind.) I’m not good at talking specifically about my experiences as an autistic individual. For one thing, I often feel like I’m “doing it wrong” because I don’t fit a lot of the stereotypes/generalizations (or even the “required” traits). Maybe I’ll make more effort, though, now that I know my audience has expanded in that direction.

My clone has started a new job… Not in archaeology, but he’s doing GIS mapping for the local electric co-op. (Yes, he has already made use of the expected “I make maps” movie quote. I hope he doesn’t want me to give back the Meteor Crater t-shirt I stole from him years ago, ’cause it’s not gonna happen.) The pay is better than he’d get for CRM work, and he gets to be indoors at least part of the time. (There are few jobs for archaeologists here in the United States right now, partly because the current batch of idjits running the government are very anti-science, etc. The CRM companies don’t want to hire new people, because they don’t know if the Antiquities Act will even exist by later this year, so there may not be any need for people who do archaeological survey work, for example.) Fear not, though: the clone having a full-time “day job” won’t prevent him from working on his next novel. All that driving around through rural Roosevelt County will give him plenty of time to “write” first drafts in his head, and then he’ll come home and type thousands of words in a single sitting (the way he usually does). 




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Writing Glitch #422

Today’s glitch:

Did you spot the typo in the first line?

Single-handedly is a compound adverb and needs to be hyphenated, the same as you’d do with a compound adjective. (There is a rule against using hyphens with adverbs, but it applies to an adverb before another word.)

Add a comma after life.

Either end the second sentence with a period (the better choice) or use a real ellipsis (not that truncated thing).

Your trusted friend killed you and took the credit for single-handedly defeating the greatest evil and saving the world. As you lay dying, you hear a voice offering you a second chance at life, on one condition.

I feel as if there’s a word or two missing from the first sentence (the greatest evil what?), but I cannot think of anything specific to add.

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Writing Glitch #421

Today’s second glitch:

Capitalizing the first word after a comma doesn’t make a comma splice okay… Replace the comma after the second sentence with a period. 

Notice that I replaced the second coin with it to avoid over-use of a word.

You possess a magic coin. Any time you find yourself undecided, you flip it. The result always leads to success of some sort, even if the choice doesn’t always make sense at first. The few times you have gone against the coin have resulted in disaster.

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