Dangling participle disease

edited October 2016 in - Writing Problems
Judging by feedback from a short story I submitted for an anthology I have dangling participle disease. Here's one example:

"Looming before them, an old manor house made of ancient stone."

Any thoughts on which of these, if any, would be a better way to rewrite it:

"An old manor house loomed before them."

"An old manor house, made of ancient stone, loomed before them."

"An old manor house made of ancient stone loomed before them."

Comments

  • The first is not a sentence as you have a comma where you need a verb. Similarly to your last 'is this a sentence' query, replacing the comma with 'was' would make the first one fine. Which of the now four options is best probably depends on context, though the last one seems cleanest to me.
  • I've never quite got a handle on dangling participles.
  • Unless its a plot point that the manor is built from repurposed 'ancient' stone, I'd scrap one of the 'old' synonyms. And (personal opinion) loomed seems clichéd.
  • Also by saying it's old, you're telling rather than letting us see the house. Old means different things to different people. Chuck in some scary description.
  • I don't really understand things like dangling participles I went to a modern comprehensive. I'm fortunate I can read at all.
  • I'm a southern lass and I just join up the dots ...

    Ta BR That is an interesting link.
  • Last one sounds best to me.
  • https://wordsunderoneroof.wordpress.com/ - see the section called '-ing, -ing'.
  • edited October 2016
    Also by saying it's old, you're telling rather than letting us see the house. Old means different things to different people. Chuck in some scary description.
    In
    I don't really understand things like dangling participles I went to a modern comprehensive. I'm fortunate I can read at all.
    I did 18 months at a secondary modern then the rest at a comp, which may explain why I don't understand them either! :-)

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