pandemo (pandemo) wrote,

More Caveats

Heather Graham, in Night, Sea, and Stars, does it again! P. 300 contains the clunky sentence: That which had begun slow(ly) and tantalizing(ly) no longer sought to delay and to encourage complete capitulation, but demanded with furiously pulsing force. (Hey, the last ly was actually hers! Of course, it is describing an adjective, not a verb, and I am thinking all the examples I've put in here are with the verb, not adjectives or other adverbs. Maybe it is a selective dropping, not a full scale dropping. I'll have to check that out as I read.)

But even with properly formed adverbs, even with the alliteration, the sentence is an abomination that should never have made it past the editing process.

Edit: 7/27/05

Yesterday I started her civil war trilogy, One Wore Blue, And One Wore Gray, and And One Rode West. Her plot sizzles, the characters are super, the pacing is perfect, until she stops for a bit of romance. It wouldn't be so annoying if she did it WELL, but Oh, No, we get misused words and sentence fragments in paragraphs by themselves, and ludicrous feelings.

I got One Wore Blue from the library, not the family, so I did NOT mark the errors, and there seemed to be fewer of them than in the paperbacks. I did notice twice that she had "her" stuck into the sentence in an impossible position, and several compound words that were written separately, and one when it should have been separate, but wasn't. There really IS a difference in meaning between every day and everyday, and it is NOT esoteric to use them correctly. She stuck her nose her into his business type of thing. Editing marks run amok? Climbing up on a stool and sitting upon a stool is not a distinction requiring an advanced degree to determine. Dressing every day is far different from everyday dress. (I don't remember the exact wording she used, but that is the gist of the problem.)

Now I'm a good 150 pages into And One Wore Gray, and I am over here at the computer having this rant instead of continuing the story. Even though this copy is paperback, and therefore possibly not as well-edited, the errors I started tearing my hair about in this book were NOT purely cosmetic.

A policeman may shout "Cease and desist" at a fleeing criminal when he wants him to stop, but that does not mean that she can say "She did not desist him in his purpose", (italics mine) as she did on p. 134. Desist is an intransitive verb, which means it MAY NOT have a direct or indirect object with it as she does here. Deter or maybe deflect seems closer to her meaning, but even then, the whole sentence needs to be reworked. "She did nothing to deter him (from his purpose)." (unnecessary explanation) Methinks the lady did NOT protest being seduced. (After editing, me also thinks that the criminal would have to be uncommonly well-educated to STOP when he heard the command to DESIST.)

The whole seduction scene is problematical. It starts out innocently enough in a cute byplay reminiscent of Harrison Ford in Witness watching the Quaker sponge bathe with a pitcher and bowl by lamplight, only using a wooden tub, but quickly goes downhill from there. During its 4-5 page course, she just seems to get more carried away with her purple prose. "Night descended, eclipsing the room, eclipsing life itself." Lovemaking causing nightfall? Nightfall = death?

I realize I'm not a very experienced participant, but the man sure SEEMS to have been thorough, yet, after the fact, she has her heroine think "She wondered if she had died. She knew vaguely that she had not." SAY WHAT? Following what appears to be a bout of "good lovin'," she VAGUELY feels alive??? The next paragraph gets even worse. "... She was indeed alive." Lovemaking = death? I just can't buy that!

Then we get redundancies like, "She felt as if all the agony of the war had descended down upon her, and then it was as if she couldn't feel anything at all." (p. 152) Personally, I never descend UP... or OVER, or ACROSS, or THROUGH...

So far, very few of hers have made it into (NOT in to) the list of neat endings to start a new idea with, either...

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