8FOLD: Journey Into # 13: The Five Graph Trap!

Scott Eiler seiler at eilertech.com
Thu Jul 22 08:34:36 PDT 2010

On Jul 21, 8:25 am, Tom Russell <milos_par... at yahoo.com> wrote:

> I will say that that sentence is not a run-on,
> as a run-on consists of two-plus complete/independent clauses without
> conjunction or the correct punctuation.  That sentence, while long, is
> comprised of two lists, joined by a colon; the first list details how
> things fell apart for the villain, ending with the revelation that he
> had planned on this all along.  The second lists how he made that
> escape, emphasizing how he planned for it (hence the joining of the
> two lists by the colon, the second list being an explanation for the
> finale of the first).  The final item in the second list is a
> deviation; rather than reveal how he planned for escape, it reveals
> how he's already set into motion the plan for his next attempt.  One
> could mount the argument that that particular clause is out of place
> (though, given the use of coordinating conjunction, it would still not
> make the sentence a run-on), but it's intended as the "surprise" of
> the list, the final item punchline/revelation, and thus the whole
> point of the sentence itself: this is how far ahead he plans.  The
> final item is intended, then, as the pay-off not only for both lists,
> but for the sentence's length.
> I'm not disputing, of course, that it is a long sentence-- some 207
> words, if I'm not mistaken-- and perhaps even a difficult one (using
> difficult in the best sense of the word), and that, yes, it does I
> think mimic the villain's line-of-thinking pretty well.  And so I'm
> very glad to accept the compliment, and I hope I don't appear
> ungracious or a nitpicker.
> It's just that I take very great pains to avoid run-ons in my
> narrative description (dialogue is another matter) and it's something
> I'm more than a little pendantic about.  No offense intended, and I
> hope none is taken.

Aww, Tom, just say it.  Rules against run-on sentences are meant to be
broken when it helps the story.  8{D>

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