Threesome: Three Dark and Twisted Tales, by Jacky Cowper (1:47)

IOD-ThreesomeTwistedToday we see that if there is an error on page one, then readers will assume the book is full of errors.

What I gleaned about the stories: Underpasses and reality TV shows are equally dank and grimy.

Find this book on Amazon.

Note: This is a short story collection, so the rules are slightly different from standard Immerse or Die: instead of reading on every time I lose immersion, I stop reading that story and move on to the next one. As usual, I stop reading after the third WTF.

Note 2: The title page lists the author as Jacky Macadam. While I decided it was probably an artifact of the author marrying, so didn’t score a WTF, it make me wonder what other issues might have been missed if the cover and title page didn’t match.

WTF #1: Unwarranted Prescience

Analysis: The protagonist sees the woman next to him reaching into her handbag and narrates that she was looking for cigarettes and not finding any. However, the woman hasn’t mentioned cigarettes, clutched a lighter, or displayed any sign that she is about to smoke. So the bald statement of her intent came as enough of a surprise that it seemed like mind-reading.

My faith shaken that I would be given the description I needed to understand events, I moved on.

WTF #2: Basic punctuation error

Analysis: The second line of the second story begins: “Cassie.” He shouted. While I knew exactly what the author meant, the lack of comma and incorrect capital were jarring enough that my eyes hit them and stopped.

With a second instance of imperfect proof-reading to shake my trust, I moved on.

WTF #3: Comma splice

Analysis: A few paragraphs into the third story, one of the characters takes a shower. The description includes: He continued soaping his head, his body, with long circular strokes, working up a really good lather. When I hit the first comma, my mind expected a list, such as soaping his head, his body, and his arms. So the lack of either an item or a conjunction after the next comma tripped me.

After a couple of attempts to make a grammatical sentence, I pulled the plug.

Take the Pepsi Challenge: Want to know if my own writing measures up? Download one of these free short stories, in the format of your choice, and decide for yourself.

Imminent Danger And How to Fly Straight into It, by Michelle Proulx (7:07)
The Last Incarnation, by J.A. Giunta (15:56)

About the author

Dave Higgins has worked in law and IT for both public and private sector organisations. When not pursuing these hobbies, he writes poetry and speculative fiction.He was born in Wiltshire, England. Raised by a librarian, he started reading shortly after birth and has not stopped since. He currently lives in Bristol with his wife, Nicola, his cats, Jasper and Una, and many shelves of books.