No One’s Chosen, by Randall P. Fitzgerald (4:59)

IOD-NoOnesChosenToday I am reminded that the more promising the story is, the more weak editing seems a betrayal.

What I gleaned about the story: Saol just led her troops to victory. Now a local woman wants to talk. Love interest? Long lost sister? An elf witch intending to hex her? I have no idea.

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WTF #1: Bonus word

Analysis: She’d been among the first through the gates and the heat had taken its toll on near as many as of her people as the centaur. Coming at the start of the second paragraph, the accidental “as” made me stop to re-read. Editorial accidents like this on the first page are costly. For example, they cost you a WTF in ImmerseOrDie.

WTF #2: Pronoun confusion

Analysis: Still on page one, our heroine is approached by her commanding officer and some woman. Heroine muses to herself about her commander’s lip. Then we get: She spoke before Crosta could start again…

That’s interesting. She’s interrupted her commander. Ballsy move. Or else they have a good relationship. But then the sentence continues: …a softer, more pleasant voice than Socair had expected.

Oh. The “She” in question was not a reference to the narrator, as I had thought. It’s a reference to the woman with the commander, who had not yet spoken a word, been addressed, or even introduced. It only took a moment to unravel the mistake, but first pages are holy and are graded on a harsh curve. Since it confused me, the flag goes up on the play.

WTF #3: Typo

Analysis: At the very bottom of page one, I stumbled over one last editorial gaffe: Rún lead her across the yard and to the keep. That should be “led”. This same error occurred two lines earlier as well, but it was in this sentence: “You lead the van of the First Company and you saved my precious city from ruin.” As you can see, that time it could easily have been in the present tense and still made sense, but now after seeing the second occurrence, I suspect this was also intended as the past tense. But either way, that’s the third flag.

Note: This is one of those cases where I find it frustrating to encounter these relatively superficial editorial problems so early. The story behind the words seems to be well thought out, as does the world. Such a shame that the promising content was derailed by such easily fixable problems.


Mysterious Darkness: Short Stories, by Melvin Rivers (1:08)
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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.