Adversaries Together, by Daniel Casey (2:24)

IOD-AdversariesTogetherToday we see that instead of painting a scene richly, over-frequent adjectives can drain the vital energy from it.

What I gleaned about the story: An old man sits in a dark room, contemplating the cloud of adjectives that keep him warm.

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WTF #1: Missing word

Analysis: The pinprick’s dusty beam cut through the chamber’s drabness widening until it encircled an ancient looking man sitting in tall chair before a huge oaken desk. The missing definite article would normally be a minor irritant, but coming in the very first sentence, it declares loudly that this book has not been edited and significantly undermines the author’s credibility from the outset, when he is at his most vulnerable.

WTF #2: Missing commas

Analysis: Bald and bare headed slowly rubbing his scalp, the old man slouched in his throne gaze fixed on a sheet of parchment on the desk. I may be the only one, but I want a comma after “headed” and another after “throne.” I had to pause for a moment to wonder what a “throne gaze” was, and whether it meant this man had a particular expression he wore when seated on his chair of power.

WTF #3: Purple prose

Analysis: I’m almost all the way to the bottom of the first page and I have yet to see a noun without an accompanying adjective or two. Rather than painting a rich scene, continuous adjectives act like leeches on the reader, slowly draining them of energy until they can read no further.

Stories with Twists, by Larry Klos (3:46)
The Winter Beast and other tales, by James R Sanford (9:46)

About the author

Jefferson Smith is a Canadian fantasy author, as well as the founder, chief editor and resident proctologist of ImmerseOrDie. With a PhD in Computer Science and Creativity Systems compounded by a life spent exploring most art forms for fun and profit, he is uniquely unqualified in just about everything. That's why he writes.