Participial Phrases in Bad Writing

One common habit I see in bad writing, especially in amateur fiction, is excessive use of participial phrases to squeeze in information. Consider a passage like:

Reaching into her purse, Mary pulled out her phone. She flipped it open, scanning her stored numbers. Realizing she didn’t have John’s cell, she snapped the phone shut. Hurrying home, she decided it was best to postpone the call anyway.

Here’s how to make a passage like this better.

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