I’m a junky for writerly advice, so I read this one by Holly Lyn Walrath. Her four points are worth paying attention to — and yes, a preposition would be hanging off the end of this sentence but for this added bit.
However, being in the throws of editing, I couldn't help but notice:
"… and I thought I could smell, faintly like an afterimage, the pungent scent of sweat, shot through with the sweet taint of chewing gum and perfume from the watching girls, felt-skirted as I knew from pictures, later in miniskirts, then pants, then in one earring, spiky green-streaked hair."
OK, I’ll overlook the impossible smells — though all you can really smell in an old gym is old shellac and mildew… and the watching girls (now absent) who go through transitions in styles of dress over a period of time, yeah, I get that.
But what does this phrase, “then in one earring” relate to? One earring shared among all the girls? An earring with spiky green hair? Was the earring sweating? I’m very confused.
From Atwood of all writers. Where was her line editor?