Here's something I've been seeing a lot in submissions lately: sentences in which words or phrases or sometimes entire clauses have just been left out.
* She smiled sadly when the scent of cinnamon, reminding her of her lost childhood.
That example could just be misuse of when, but I don't think that's what's usually going on in the sentences where I've been noticing this; I think it's that the writer wandered off into a subordinate clause and then forgot to come back to give us the verb or noun we're waiting for.
Which happens all the time in first drafts; nothing wrong with that. But it's the kind of thing authors should look for when proofreading a story before submitting it.
. . . Sadly, the other place I'm seeing this sort of thing lately is professionally published news articles. I've lost count of the number of online newspapers and magazines that have recently published articles that are missing one or more words in a prominent early paragraph, or have other obvious mistakes. Many of these publications are probably shoestring operations that can't afford proofreaders (and some are written by people not entirely fluent in written English), but some of them are well-regarded print publications that republish some of their material online. It really annoys me when a trusted news source can't be bothered to have anyone actually read their articles before posting them. But that's a topic for another entry and another time, and anyway I've whined about it before so I suppose there's no need to do it again.