Saturday, 15 January 2011

M is for Modifiers

Me and my dangling modifiers. I am a recidivist! I’m sorry but I can’t help it! I recently tried to help out a fellow writer by explaining what a dangling modifier is. Crikey. (Back to the visually impaired leading the hard of hearing again.)

I commit grammatical errors of gargantuan proportions but truly I trust these are now safely on the decline. I am trying to learn not to dig a hole and fall right on in after the shovel, so to speak! I am lucky that I get to read other peoples work and critique it. In this editing work I am becoming braver and more certain about what I say.

A lovely man is writing a very mystical story. His written word is magical and often has me entranced but I am getting tougher on him with my personal critique of his grammar because I can see his mistakes much more clearly than I can see my own! And because I want him to improve.

However, when I give feedback I am always careful to explain why I have done this too. He understands. Last night I backed off a bit because not every one in our group agreed with my comments. They too are entranced by his story!

But finally I spoke up – how can somebody present at the side of a body, then in the following sentence emerge from the woods to attend that body? The penny dropped.

Of course events, how ever beautifully written, if these are out of order then the plot and story remain out of sequence and need to be fixed. My fellow writer beamed at me. He promised he’d fix it and I’m sure he will.

1 comment:

  1. I like your approach, softly, softly can so often have the same result as a brutal slap on the hand, but the gentler approach means there is far less hurt.