Pierre-Auguste Renoir, 1909,
Recently on a critique site, I read an excerpt that sent me to review Miss Bustlewhistle's Ye Olde Grammar Booke.
Because, smack in the middle of a nice piece of prose, as I was being carried along like a blushing damosel in the arms of a stalwart hero, the writer stumbled over a series sequence.
And dumped me on the cold, hard ground.
At first, I couldn't put a name to what caused him to fall flat on his grammatical face. One forgets the specific terms for these things. So I went turning over rocks.
Reviews of the rules are useful reminders.
His parallel structure had collapsed like a bad knee joint.
Similar elements in a series need to be kept consistent -- whether they are verb forms, nouns, prepositional phrases, clauses or whatever.
One should not write: She brushed back her hair, smoothed her eyebrows and her lipstick was checked.
Rather: She brushed back her hair, smoothed her eyebrows and checked her lipstick.
The same parallel principle applies to pairs:
Not: He was an expert driver and could also repair cars.
Rather: He was an expert driver and an adequate mechanic.
Watch your step.
Jeff has a new short story posted on his blog.
I held my breath through most of it.
Written also has an exercise excerpt up.
See her Nov/25 entry. Rich visuals.