To Trust The Wolf, by Peter Birk (6:20)

IOD-TrustTheWolfToday we see that if the author is reluctant to refer to characters by name, echoing headwords are likely to follow.

What I gleaned about the story: A young girl flees some kind of family disaster, in accordance with the prophecy. A huge wolf helps her and then leaves.

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WTF #1: Repetitive exposition

Analysis: In the first two paragraphs we get: [The wolf] races through the forest… The wolf weaves its rapid path through the trees… The wolf twists and turns through the trees.

Three times we are told virtually the same thing. I get it. Unfortunately, when an author feels compelled to repeat the same facts like this, it suggests that he lacks confidence: either in his reader to pay attention, or in his own ability to convey the scene. Either way, it erodes the reader’s confidence that their imagination is in strong, experienced hands.

WTF #2: Echoing headwords

Analysis: I let three or four isolated occurrences pass on the first page, but at the very bottom, I came to a dense run of “She”-headed sentences and could no longer ignore the distraction.

WTF #3: Echoing headwords

Analysis: By the end of the second page I’ve hit a dozen more echoes. She, She. The, The. Etc. Part of the problem is that, even though each character seems to have a name, the author is strangely reluctant to use it, relying instead on constant pronoun references.

The Last Incarnation, by J.A. Giunta (15:56)
Become Like a God: Short Science Fiction Mythologies, by McCamy Taylor (40:00)

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.