Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Contests, book release, and that tempting dangling participle.

First, check out these contests:
Afteglow Book Reviews is having a Summer Giveaway Ends June 10th. Lots of great books.

Get over to Laurel's Leaves. 333 contest is awesome!! Ends May 31st. She knows her stuff.

Frankie from Frankie Writes will be helping out All 4 Alabama Relief. You must go and bid on her and you have a chance at winning a Query + 30 page MS critique by Frankie. Trust me, she's good. The bidding started on Monday and will be active for five days.

Book release: South of Charm by Elliot Grace. If you have not been to Elliot's blog, go and check it out. I mean it. It is amazing and I'm sure his book will not disappoint. You can purchase South of Charm here.

Now onto the dangling participle, my quick grammar lesson, if you will. I sometimes blush when I say these two words, yes, blush. It's either the 14 year old in me or I've been conversing with Simon too much. Hypothetically (sorry, inside joke). Anyway, this sort of goes along with my -ing post I did a while back.

So let's start with a definition--Per wikipedia.
A dangling modifier, a specific case of which is the dangling participle,[1] is an error in sentence structure whereby a grammatical modifier is associated with a word other than the one intended, or with no particular word at all. For example, a writer may have meant to modify the subject, but word order makes the modifier seem to modify an object instead. Such ambiguities can lead to unintentional humor or difficulty in understanding a sentence.

For example: Running down the street, the houses looked the same.

Now, the houses are not running so obviously we're missing something. I think it would sound better this way--Running down the street, I noticed the houses looked the same.

Another one--Sliding into second, the crowd  cheered.

I think this one needs a little work. As I slid into second, the crowd cheered.

These little things tend to tempt our WiPs, allowing them to sneak in without being noticed. So, when you revise keep an eye out for these buggers. They may sweet talk you, or tempt you, but you know better than to let them seduce your WiP.

What do you think? Are these dangling participles tempting your story? (yes, I blushed and maybe giggled.)

Please feel free to add anything in the comments, or if you would like me to elaborate more on this topic, I can in a future post.

Have a great day!


  1. Thankfully I don't do this anymore, but I used to. Now it's habit not to construct sentences like that. But we all have to go through that phase. Or most of us. :)

  2. I do that sometimes--although I'm probably missing most of the instances where there are dangling participles. :P

  3. Yes, I can finally post!!!!

    I used to have the same problem until I learned what a danling participle was.

  4. Throw the baby down the stairs, her sweater. That is my all time favorite.

  5. Yikes! I hated fixing these in my last grammar class so much that I dread ever writing them! But I know they creep in like black, furry spiders.

  6. I have a hard time picking these out because in my head, I know what I'm trying to say. It's definitely an area I rely on others to point out. I'll always change it, especially since I'm the worst when it comes to identifying these kinds of grammatical errors, but I need better eyes to show me where they've slipped in.

  7. I think I do all right with this one. Other grammar rules, not so much.

  8. Thanks so much for the contest shout-out.

    I can't say my participles dangle. I do seem to have a weird kind of dyslexia when it comes to conjunctions--I can't tell you how many times my CPs have pointed out where I've omitted a "to," "of," or "for" or wrote "a" instead of "and". *blushes*

    It IS easier to see errors in someone else's work, though--your brain doesn't anticipate what it expects to see on the page.

  9. Yay! I finally know what a dangling participle is! The word dangling makes me giggle everytime. Thanks for this excellent lesson. I *know* there are a more than a few of these in my WIP.