Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Dangling What?!

The Evil Editors have decided it’s time to out those modifiers that love to dangle precariously in innocent sentences and send us into fits of giggles. Why? Because they’re like Mad Libs for editors. Sometimes these literary gems still get past us because they’re sneaky little suckers, camouflaging nicely, sitting prettily. Yet despite the fact these little suckers don’t belong there, they crack us up when we find them. 

A modifier is great and every good author uses modifiers.  They’re a necessity to avoid blah, boring stories. Which of these give you a better visual? 

Kate sat on a bench and held a box of cupcakes on her lap.

(with modifier) Perched on the bench, Kate possessively clutched the box of cupcakes.

What this tells us? Boring Kate has cupcakes. Possessive Kate doesn’t want to share and appears ready to take flight if anyone dares snag her treats.

However…authors like to get creative with sentence structure to avoid repetition, or during revisions when they aren’t seeing the big picture:

Perched on the bench, Kate’s possessive hands clutched a box of cupcakes.  Hmmm...Kate's hands are quite skilled, possessive, perching and clutching at the same time.

Here are a few modifiers Evil Editor Kate (the possessive one who loves cupcakes) and Evil Editor Val have found just recently. Oh, my.

Twisting her arm around her back, his cock twitched.
Driving down the street, his heart pounded in his chest.     
Her appetite faltered, thinking about the months ahead of her.

A Dangling Love Story
by The Evil Editors
Jacob couldn’t believe it. With a grimace, his hands clutched the steering wheel in anger. Seeing Paula in the bar with another man, his mind went numb.  The man’s invading hands had roamed over her voluptuous body, possessive and knowledgeable, their lustful intent so clear. Oh, so very clear.

Reaching into the glove compartment for his Glock 44, Jacob’s fingertips thrummed with purpose. How they yearned to plug a few rounds in the other man’s unknowing body. At the thought of the looming bloodshed, his smile gloated. That would teach Stella not to screw with another man, he thought to himself with alacrity.

But just thinking about Sally’s scrumptious body, his mouth watered. Worse, he had to adjust his burgeoning manhood. “Crap,” he whispered to himself in the empty car. In all its wisdom, his cock knew what his heart refused to acknowledge. He still loved Sarah…she was the only girl for him.

*Evil Editors laugh evilly* We invite you to laugh, too. We see dangling whatsits like this all the time and giggle uncontrollably.  We're just having fun though. These buggers are insidious, and no editor, not even an evil one, will ever catch every sneaky dangler!


Jessica Subject said...

LOL Um, yeah, this is still an issue I'm working on. I can see it when Im' critiquing, but harder to see in my own work for some reason. Great post!

Anthology Authors said...

HAHAHA I've seen a few of those in my time. I usually point them out and laugh. I'm not so sure the author laughs, though. :D