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BradCarsten
06-06-2018, 04:09 PM
I'm a little confused here. When you're writing, it's easy to misplace your modifiers (I think that's what it's called)--so for example in the following sentence: "I found a silver man's ring", the reader will probably think that the man is silver and not the ring.
Does the same thing apply to the following type of sentence: "He crept to the door, waiting for the boogeyman to jump out and kill him... "
Could that be saying that the door was waiting for the boogeyman, or is it obvious that "he" (the subject) was waiting to be killed?

cornflake
06-06-2018, 05:21 PM
I'm a little confused here. When you're writing, it's easy to misplace your modifiers (I think that's what it's called)--so for example in the following sentence: "I found a silver man's ring", the reader will probably think that the man is silver and not the ring.
Does the same thing apply to the following type of sentence: "He crept to the door, waiting for the boogeyman to jump out and kill him... "
Could that be saying that the door was waiting for the boogeyman, or is it obvious that "he" (the subject) was waiting to be killed?

The door is not the subject there, reinforced by 'kill him,' which cannot refer to the door.

BradCarsten
06-06-2018, 06:46 PM
Thank you cornflake. That makes sense.

Enlightened
06-06-2018, 07:11 PM
Just as an aside, "waiting" doesn't make sense. If "he" is creeping (moving) toward the door, how is this waiting? Maybe use expecting instead of waiting.

cornflake
06-06-2018, 08:16 PM
Why can't you move and wait? I can pace and wait for something...people drive around, waiting for whatever, yada yada.

Enlightened
06-06-2018, 08:32 PM
We're both making assumptions. It depends on the writer's intent. Still, maybe an alpha/beta reader or an agent may question it. For me, as a reader, waiting is more stand still than dragging one's heels or creeping.

Cindyt
06-06-2018, 08:51 PM
I agree with Cornflake. You can move while waiting for something to jump out of nowhere.


"He crept to the door, waiting for the boogeyman to jump out and kill him." The comma lets the reader know that the subject (He) is waiting and not the door.

blacbird
06-07-2018, 05:00 AM
I agree with Cornflake. You can move while waiting for something to jump out of nowhere.


Yes, and not so much. Nothing confusing about the grammatical construction in the example, but the verb "waiting" doesn't quite read right to me. "Anticipating" or "expecting" strikes me as more precise and appropriate. Which makes a key point about clarity in writing: Your grammatical construction may be completely correct, but word choice, especially with verbs, is hugely important. Good writing is a lot more than just "grammatically correct."

caw

MaeZe
06-07-2018, 05:25 AM
...
The comma lets the reader know that the subject (He) is waiting and not the door.This ^

BethS
06-07-2018, 05:36 PM
is it obvious that "he" (the subject) was waiting to be killed?

Yes.

DanielSTJ
06-12-2018, 02:18 AM
The comma lets the reader know that the subject (He) is waiting and not the door.

Yes. That makes sense to me too.

guttersquid
06-16-2018, 11:37 AM
"He crept to the door, waiting for the boogeyman to jump out and kill him... "

Yes, you can move while waiting for something, but in this context, it seems rather passive. Likewise for words like expecting.

How about something like


He crept to the door, terrified the boogeyman would jump out and kill him.