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  1. #11
    Jay S
    Guest

    Re: Revamped portion of chapter 1 (thanks to GaryK and Bea)

    Thank you Gary. I agree, there are some things that should be done such as changing "her eyelashes were fluttering."

    You've been most helpful.



  2. #12
    John Oberon
    Guest

    Re: Revamped portion of chapter 1 (thanks to GaryK and Bea)

    Gary,

    I've never heard that the number of words in a clause dictates punctuation. I've always thought function and purpose dictate punctuation.

    I think you should get a dictionary and look up "strewn". Divorce papers are important documents and not likely to be strewn anywhere.

    Terseness and minimalism are not the goal in writing. Clarity of meaning and purpose are. If you clutter your writing with a bunch of unnecessary words, it can't help but cloud meaning and purpose.

    But hey, to each his own.

  3. #13
    Gary Kessler
    Guest

    Re: Revamped portion of chapter 1 (thanks to GaryK and Bea)

    Guess you don't use the Chicago Manual of Style, then, John. (I even cited the section) I'm a university-trained editor--I go with the guidance specified, not what I heard from my third cousin Mildred or "how I've always done it."

    Nothing much more to said about that if you are going with personal preference rather than industry standard (which seemed to be one of my points on your critique).

    Yes, "to each his own," was precisely my point.

  4. #14
    L Bea
    Guest

    Re: Revamped portion of chapter 1 (thanks to GaryK and Bea)

    Jay,

    This has come a good ways from your last version. You are revealing your characters more and their relationships with each other. I see a few things that need some work. I tend to agree with some of John's observations and think what he suggests would tighten this up. But in doing so, don't lose your voice. I think Gary's words help balance that. Here are a couple of my specific thoughts.

    When the maid stands in the doorway, I think she should do something more imposing other than touching her bun. To me (my opinion), that feels more like a distracted or nervous reaction. If you mean business, what would you do? Put your hands on your hips, glare at her, stand firm. (Not all three -- those were just different ideas.) See what I mean?

    I actually liked that she shoved the book bag into the maid and you showing her heaving. It worked for me. She's been carrying it around for awhile and has adjusted to its weight. When you shove that at someone and they don't realize its contents, they're gonna feel it.

    This bugged me the first time too: high-heeled shoes (to me) should just be high heels. That's what women call them.

    “Don’t touch me,” she lashed out. It was to no avail. Marcus was foot taller and built like a brick wall.
    “Let me guess.” Marcus held his wife’s arm firm.


    I would drop the "it was to no avail. Marcus was [a] foot taller," etal, and just do the dialogue. It's more powerful. Try it. See what you think. You want the reader to gather conclusions like "it was to no avail" on her/his own.

    “Don’t touch me,” she lashed out.
    “Let me guess.” Marcus held his wife’s arm firm.

    Maybe you could show his build earlier when he appears to her, startling her??

    She was sure he could not have looked more shocked if she had slapped his across the face.

    Just -- slapped his face

    “Like you give a damn.” She released herself from her husband’s grip.

    Maybe instead she jerked from her husband's grip. Released herself from doesn't give the intent I think you want.

    Those are just a few things maybe to help get you through the next round. I like how in this version we can feel your characters more. Keep focusing on that. And then try to streamline even a little more but don't lose the flavor. That's key. Balance -- that can be tricky.

    All the best,
    Bea

  5. #15
    John Oberon
    Guest

    Re: Revamped portion of chapter 1 (thanks to GaryK and Bea)

    Alrighty Gary - you count words; and I'll allow? function and purpose: to guide me...in the use! of punctuation $to enhance meaning.

  6. #16
    Gary Kessler
    Guest

    Re: Revamped portion of chapter 1 (thanks to GaryK and Bea)

    Think that last comment needs some enhanced meaning all its own. *smile*

  7. #17
    John Oberon
    Guest

    Re: Revamped portion of chapter 1 (thanks to GaryK and Bea)

    lol.

  8. #18
    Gary Kessler
    Guest

    Re: Revamped portion of chapter 1 (thanks to GaryK and Bea)

    Tell you what, John, you post your editorial credentials here. Readers can see mine at <http://www.editsbooks.com>. Then it's up to the one seeking help to decide whose advice they go with.

    I have no idea what your "you count words" crack had to do with anything I've posted. I just take it as a barrenness in finding something to belittle.

  9. #19
    John Oberon
    Guest

    Re: Revamped portion of chapter 1 (thanks to GaryK and Bea)

    All of the publishers I work for thus consider three words as under the mandatory comma cutoff.

    Well, I didn't really intend it as a crack. I just thought "mandatory comma cutoff" was funny. Never heard it before. So count those words, Gary...and try not to take yourself TOO seriously.

    As for credentials, I don't really have my own business that makes credentials important, but I do have a reputation. I'm a 25-year working stiff, not an entrepreneur like you. However, I don't think I gave Jay any wrong advice. I think he has some difficulty with consistency, wording, and cluttered language, don't you? I think most any editor would say that. But if you think his writing is A-OK, well...alrighty then.

    And if you want to use the CMS for novels, well...I've never heard of that either. On the whole, I typically see that used for corporate standards and more specialized documentation. Not that there isn't a lot of good in CMS, but I usually give advice based on what I've personally learned about writing over the years, not what someone in Chicago says. I give personal advice based on my own solid education, reasoning, and experience. You give advice based on what someone else writes in CMS. That's fine. We're a good combination as far as I'm concerned, and Jay has benefitted from our collective advice. Score one for Writersnet.

  10. #20
    Gary Kessler
    Guest

    Re: Revamped portion of chapter 1 (thanks to GaryK and Bea)

    All of that says that you have no credentials to be editing, John--or giving advice on it, either (which goes well with your incredible statement of never hearing of CMS being used for novels. That one statement alone should categorize you for anyone considering taking your editorial advice.) . Did someone here mention you charged $30 to edit? If so, that would be operating a scam, wouldn't it?

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