Who’s Organizing Team Pronoun-Antecedent?


Who's on first

“Grammar, have you heard about the new softball league?” Detective Dis Connect asked his partner.

“No, who’s organizing it?”

“Ralph told Norman he should be in charge, but Serena told Mabel she would be better at it.”

“What?” Grammar was confused.

Dis just prattled on, “They organized their own teams and just took over.”

“Who took over?”

“They did. They just started it up, but they need more teams since they only have two.”

“Whose teams are set?” Grammar asked.

“The Comma Comets and the Paragraph Panthers. But it needs a few more people for a full roster,” Dis explained.

“Which needs more players?”

“The team does. Haven’t you been paying attention?”

“I thought I was, but now I’m just confused,” Grammar said. She felt a bubble deep in her memory hinting that she had heard this before.

“They have it all set. You just have to sign up for…

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Sometimes, he has updates about novels-in-progress.

The reason yesterday’s “Writing Glitch” post was so late is that I didn’t have access to the computer until evening; my clone was using it to work on the next (fourth) Tebrey novel.

Just thought you’d want to know that. 🙂

Found out yesterday that the Inciting Incident for everything (as in, the motivation for one of the main characters when Paul and I first started this collaborative story-creating nonsense) did not happen for the reason we thought it had. (Let this be a lesson to you: do not allow yourself to become a minor character in one of our stories. Well, except you, Greg, but you brought it on yourself when you decided to write the Spence Brothers into Greyspace.) The official reason for that event makes a great cover for what was really going on, though. This change came about because of a backstory revision for one of the supporting characters in the Tebrey novels. As soon as the “assassin” became someone too important to be ordered around, we needed a different motivation for that character to go kill someone. Well… we found it. Eep!

I know: I’m blathering about stuff you don’t understand entirely because I’m not giving sufficient information. Wish I could… The point of all this is that I’m excited that my clone is already making significant progress on his next novel — and that I’m quite looking forward to all the trouble the events of this novel will cause for the various characters in it. I can say so right now because I have enough mental distance from the story that I’m not reeling from the conversation in chapter two. “Ask me again tomorrow who I am today,” as a poet once said, and maybe I will be “the ashen phoenix,” since Paul has said a few times recently that he wants to finish that novel we’re working on together as soon as Stars’ End (*wonders if he should tell his twin about another story with a similar title, and if he really wants to risk revisiting the metaphor that caused so much trouble last year*) is published, hopefully sometime this autumn.

Don’t know what my clone intends to call the fifth Tebrey novel. (Of course there will be five books in that arc. Who are we, that we should break with tradition?) Then there’s the sequel to Project Brimstone, and “that novel,” and Changing Magic (which ought to be published before “that novel,” all things considered), and an apparent stand-alone with the super-exciting working title of “Max’s story.” Plus, maybe, at least one Providence novel. (If Paul rewrites and publishes those, you’ll recognize one of the main characters as a very minor character in Project Brimstone: Harrison’s friend Delling. Paul goes back and forth on whether or not he should ever publish these stories. Something about bears and money… I said, “It’s not poking the bear; it’s doing that Cameron thing, which is helping the bear.” And, as someone said in a book about a tour of a fictional castle, if the book is bad, we can always feed it to the manticore, right? *weird grin*)

Paul said something the other day about bringing Matthew into the story. Matthew —  Dr. Matthew Luther Channing, if I recall correctly — is a physicist, just the sort of person who could fit in well with those weirdos in the Project Brimstone sequels. Plot complications and dramatic irony — fun times. (That sounds ever-so-slightly like, “Chaos — good news,” doesn’t it? I didn’t do that deliberately, I swear.)

Anyway. About ten thousand words written so far for Stars’ End, which isn’t bad for two or three days’ work.

(WordPress’ spelling checker wants me to change manticore to manicure. It also wants me to change arc to ark. I really need to publish at least the homophone section of GGOMGG as soon as possible. What do you think of calling that chapter “Give the Devil His ‘Do”?)


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Writing Glitch #387

Today’s glitch:

Don’t capitalize neutron; it’s a common noun (used here as an adjective), not a proper one.

Either spell out the whole number or use only numerals. (For academic stuff, numerals are preferred, but writing about science in a non-academic context should be treated as other normal prose.) Write one thousand trillion or write 1,000,000,000,000. (If you really want to do science writing the right way, write the number in scientific notation — which I can’t do here because WordPress doesn’t want me to use exponents — as one times ten to the twelfth power.) That long string of zeroes does look impressive and makes a point to people who would otherwise have no clue just how big one thousand trillion is, but using the numeral also runs the risk of scaring away math-phobes. (“I majored in English — you do the math.” *rolls eyes* Please don’t make me go on yet another bloggish tirade about the stupid-headed wrongness of believing only people who don’t know grammar from their own ass are capable of understanding mathematics and numbers in general.)

Change your (possessive pronoun: belongs to you) to you’re (contraction of you are).

Magnetars are a special form of neutron star. Their magnetic fields are an unbelievable one thousand trillion times stronger than the magnetic field you’re sitting in now.


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Writing Glitch #386

Today’s glitch:

Spell out numbers: one hundred twenty-five, not 125.

After the introductory phrase, the word order of the first sentence is kinda wonky… The next male in his bloodline’s soul? I didn’t know bloodlines had souls, nor that those souls could be comprised of people. *shakes head* Anyway, I changed the word order so the sentence says what it’s supposed to. I also broke up the second sentence into two for flow and clarity.

One hundred twenty-five years ago, an ancestor of yours traded the soul of the next male in his bloodline to Lucifer for untold power. A son is yet to be born. Lucifer is sick of waiting and wants your infant daughter.

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Writing Glitch #385

Today’s glitch:

In US English, an organization is construed as a single entity, so we use the third-person singular verb, is.

The name of the organization could be written as Villains’ Union, although not using the apostrophe seems more common; Villains Union means a union of villains, rather than a union that belongs to villains. Either way, Villains needs to be capitalized if you’re going to capitalize Union, indicating that this is the actual name of the organization.

Change the colon after strike to either a period or a semicolon.

Add a comma after jobs. Without the comma, the sentence is saying that the jobs themselves are compensating for the lack of people to save, whereas adding a comma makes it say the heroes need jobs because there aren’t enough people to save. (Honestly, the sentence could have been worded better, and then we wouldn’t have to worry if the meaning was clear or not.)

The Villains Union is on strike. Heroes are forced to find jobs, to compensate for the lack of people to save.


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Writing Glitch #384

Today’s glitch:

The verbs were a mess in this one. I tried to fix them, but who knows if the example was intended to be past or present tense?

He broke into a house. He pried open the basement door and went inside. Suddenly he heard a voice.

“She got you, too?”


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Authors Answer 128 – Ghostwriting

I Read Encyclopedias for Fun

Books are not written by ghosts, but there are people who ghostwrite. They don’t write under their own name, but under someone else’s. Some people have their reasons to be ghostwriters, while others would prefer to write their own books. But how about us?

Question 128 – Have you ever tried or thought about ghostwriting?

Tracey Lynn Tobin

For the longest time I didn’t even know what ghostwriting was. When I eventually found out I thought the idea sounded very interesting, and I did, in fact, consider it for a while and did some searches around the internet for how one would go about getting into it. In the end, though, I don’t think I really settled into the concept of it. I prefer to write my own ideas, my own stories. I’m not necessarily saying that I’d never do it, but I don’t think it’ll ever be something that…

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