Willem’s Tale, by J. S. Davis (4:23)

IOD-WillemsTaleToday we see that mechanical issues popped me out before I learned anything about anybody.

What I gleaned about the story: A crazy old Duke once lived by a river and called it the sea.

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WTF #1: It was his nature, and in the eyes of some his calling, to fret over that which he had no control.

Analysis: There’s a missing comma here, but that isn’t what popped me. It was the awkward sentence construction that in fact is missing a word. To be correct, that should read: It was his nature, and in the eyes of some his calling, to fret over that over which he had no control.

Without it, the sentence didn’t parse, and made me rescan to see what I’d missed. But I hadn’t missed anything. It wasn’t there.

WTF #2: Edwin saw it as a giant trap, destined to send the young an unwary spiraling into the depths of depression.

Analysis: This one’s just a typo, but it had the misfortune to change the entire structure of the sentence into something grammatically incorrect, and that popped me out. Why are the young sent “an unwary spiraling?” And what is that, anyway? Clearly, the word should be “and,” but it wasn’t, and so when I had to go figure out what happened, I was no longer immersed.

WTF #3: Missing commas

Analysis: In addition to the one mentioned above, I found two or three more, each of which caused problems for parsing the flow of the sentence. And that’s too many for such a short passage of text, especially at the beginning of the book.

The Gentle Man, by Michelle Montague Mogil (8:27)
Lethal Seasons, by Alice Sabo (10:45)

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 underqualified in just about everything. That's why he writes.