Prospero’s Half-Life, by Trevor James Zaple (3:48)

IOD-ProsperosHalfLifeSometimes, even correct grammar can cause immersion to break.

What I gleaned about the story: A man enters a store before it opens, accompanied by a very slight sense of unrevealed dread.

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WTF #1: Echoing headwords

Analysis: In the second paragraph I was distracted by 3 successive sentences beginning with “He.” And as usual, they describe a series of physical movements. This was then followed by another pair in the next paragraph. Almost half the sentences on the first page seem to start with “He.”

WTF #2: Misleading typo

Analysis: The digital picture frames were one That should read “on,” not “one.” But since the mistake is a legitimate word, I had to pause here and wonder, “One what?” Then it became clear that these devices were on, in contrast to the previous devices that I had just been told were not active. But by then, the immersion break had happened.

WTF #3: More echoes

Analysis: The second page has at least three pairs of “He”-headed sentences, and one pair prefixed with “The.” But it is perhaps more interesting that the word “whomever” echoed as well, used twice in a single paragraph. The grammar is correct, but the word “whomever” is still rather conspicuous in common usage, and with all the other echoing going on, it echoed loudly enough to catch my attention.

Note: Aside from the echoing, the writing actually seems strong in today’s book. Good, crisp imagery, excellent grammar, etc. It’s a shame I find echoes so distracting. I might have liked to find out more about the as-yet unrevealed menace.

Tresspassers, by Todd and Tim Wynn (10:00)
The Seal of Solomon, by Ryan Mitchell (10:00)

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.