Human Dystopia – Chapter 3 Examples


Wordy sentences

Some of the writing needed to be strengthened – some parts were too wordy or the order of the sentence could have been changed to get the sentence’s meaning across with fewer words and to deliver more impact.

Unnecessary or longer words have been removed, such as ‘the sound of’, ‘having been’, ‘shouts in the crowd’, ‘that was’, ‘of the crowd’. Sometimes these have been rephrased with the use of the apostrophe: ‘crowd’s immense applause’, ‘crowd’s amusement’ to cut wordiness.

Stop and start sentences

This chapter is notorious for short stop-and-start sentences and rapid scene transitions. Something can be done about the former at the copy editing stage, so long as the author’s meaning is not taken away with the change.

√ One or two conjunctions have been added to connect sentences together where they were short and stop-and-start, such as ‘and’ and ‘and then’ or a comma substituted for a full stop before ‘but’.

√ Joshua’s name, first name, and surname have been mentioned at times when a pronoun such as ‘he’ or ‘him’ would suffice.


There is a lot of repetition with the sentences beginning with ‘but’ or ‘he’ or with constructions such as ‘an orphan’, ‘another’, ‘bright light/the light’.

√ Instances of repetition have been removed or replaced with pronouns.

Chapter length

It is also much longer than the preceding chapters, so perhaps something can be done about this without rewriting, affecting the flow of the story, and without making any major changes. Perhaps, for example, one or more scenes can be added from this chapter to the short Chapter 2, or Chapter 2 can be added to this chapter. A query in a separate letter or email when contacting the author, or written clearly at the top of the entire story’s document after copy editing completion, may suffice.

Adverbs and weak sentences

A few adverbs could be cut out to strengthen the impact of sentences, especially if they don’t appear essential to the meaning of the sentence; if they do then they could be ignored, highlighted, or queried instead. I’ve highlighted some of these in turquoise, for the author to decide on, to reword the sentences in these areas.

√ Adverbs have been cut to strengthen some sentences, where they were not needed. Some have been highlighted turquoise for the author to decide on, to ensure the exact meaning intended is not changed.

Screenshots of examples

Original – Example 3-1 – Screenshot

Original – Example 3-2 – Screenshot

Original – Example 3-3 – Screenshot

Original – Example 3-4 – Screenshot

Original – Example 3-5 – Screenshot

Changes and Comments – Example 3-1 – Screenshot

Changes and Comments – Example 3-2 – Screenshot

Changes and Comments – Example 3-3 – Screenshot

Changes and Comments – Example 3-4 – Screenshot

Changes and Comments – Example 3-5 – Screenshot

Final Version – Example 3-1 – Screenshot

Final Version – Example 3-2 – Screenshot

Final Version – Example 3-3 – Screenshot

Final Version – Example 3-4 – Screenshot

Final Version – Example 3-5 – Screenshot

Some of the other things I changed

√ I removed first-line indents for the first paragraph of each scene because it was not standard formatting.

√ I increased the size of indents because they were too small and almost unnoticeable as they were, at 0.13”.

√ The document for this chapter had been formatted to keep lines together. This has now been changed to ensure there are no unnecessary blank pages/gaps on pages.

Mini style sheet example


Scar Market (changed to capitals because it is assumed this is a proper name/place)


Non-serial comma

They were slapped by the women, chased away by the young boys, made fun of by the girls and made to feel as if they didn’t exist by the men. (Example of a non-serial comma.)


It’s clear that Chapter 2 and 3 are intended to delve into the backstory between Joshua Adams and the Champion, and so it has been decided, after communication with the author, to keep these backstory chapters in third person past tense.

‘He remembered clearly’ in line 1, scene 2, has been removed because the assumption behind this is that Joshua is telling the story from a position in the future, when it’s actually more like he is reliving the experiences in vivid detail, as they happen, which means past tense may suffice without reflective notes. Why the author is now writing a chapter in the past tense is that it informs the reader about Joshua’s past before the first chapter, and it’s clear also that the second chapter was just the beginning of this past. The way the story is organised so far may mean the first chapter is better placed as a prologue because of the way it is written, but more shall become clear in Chapter 4.

Certainly by this stage it’s becoming clear that the author has not chosen the person and tense wisely, and there have been more than enough examples of this by Chapter 3, which may signal that either much more work has to be done than anticipated, which would require a renegotiation of the fees, or some careful decisions as in this chapter may be enough to keep the majority of the story consistent while maintaining the budget and keeping any new decisions on board.

Human Dystopia  – Chapter 4 Examples