Dangling participles AKA dangling modifiers are considered a crime in some quarters – so much so that, if you make this type of error in your writing, your short story, those sample chapters of your amazing first novel, your competition entry might land in the rejection pile.
Or, the reader might become confused – because you’ll have introduced an ambiguity. Your mistake may make them smile but they also might stop reading.
Regardless of the predispositon of your reader, I advise you to avoid dangling your participles!
Who sketched the outline? Who is then going to find it easy to write the novel? Neither ‘subject’ is evident, but this oversight is easily fixed:
Here, I’m focusing on just one particular culprit: the present participle.
What is a present participle?
Starting a sentence this way can add variety to your writing.
Having the extra information at the start of the sentence emphasises that what follows is as a result of, or happens after, the situation described in the opening few words.
What can go wrong?
Here, the noun to which the partiples applies is the object (instead of the subject) in the main clause.
This time, the noun to which the partiples applies is missing altogether.
Focusing on what is really happening, both examples can be edited to produce unambiguous information: