GLOAT: I got picked for Edittorrent comments!

Yes! I may have cut in line somehow by posting my opening on a comment thread (because I didn’t think my e-mail had gotten through), but anyhow I got the opening to my Pundit novel looked at by the editors on Edittorrent. Or at least by one of them, Alicia Rasley. I’ve taken a couple of online courses from her (some time ago), and she has published a bunch of romance novels. I like her style.

Now, I don’t know whether she’s right about my “flip-flopping tenses” in that sentence. I don’t think the tense is muddled at all:

A few are sure they’ve barely missed out–having heard a rustled drapery or caught a flash of light just as the save took place, but being otherwise too occupied with the crisis as it happened to watch closely until it was too late and the angel had flown.

I think that’s a perfectly normal sentence (although I think “but *having been* otherwise too occupied” would be technically correct, but I knew that would REALLY freak people out and make them say it was confusing, so I fudged that.) I don’t want to get into a bunch of controversy about whether it’s grammatically correct and so forth. I think she’s focused on worrying about the way readers may or may not understand what I’m saying, which is good. I like to give readers a little more credit, though. I think they can comprehend what I am saying. (Though I might change it to “a rustle OF drapery,” which sounds better.) We’re talking about how someone might miss something that is happening while something more riveting is going on, and that’s all I wanted to convey. Will muse on tweaking it further.

It’s kind of cool to get some actual feedback from a pro so I can better understand what people are thinking when they read my work. I never have thoughts like this (thoughts like the type of stuff pros come up with when they analyze text on this blog or on other blogs, I mean); this highlights for me again how different my thought processes are from editors’ and agents’ thought processes. Unless I actually cannot understand a sentence, I never get upset when there’s a lot going on. Maybe it’s the difference between having a modernist mind and a post-modernist mind. Perhaps I actually have more of a 17th century mind . . . or even worse, a sixties-consciousness mind. It’s *something* like that, no doubt. I would never think twice about reading a focus-down opening, myself. But anyhow, maybe those don’t fly today.

Go see. http://edittorrent.blogspot.com/2008/03/another-opening.html

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Author: shalanna

Shalanna: rhymes with "Madonna" and "I wanna," and is not a soundalike with "Hosanna" or "Sha-Na-Na." Aging hippie with long hair, husband, elderly mother, and yappy Pomeranian. I've been writing since I could hold a crayon. I started with fiction, which Mama said was "lying." “Don’t tell stories,” she would admonish, in Southern vernacular. “That's all in your imagination!” When grownups said this, they were not approving. So, shamed, I stopped telling stories for a few years--rather, I stopped letting anyone read them. I'm married to a fellow computer nerd who doesn't really like hearing about writing, but who reads sf/fantasy and understands the creative drive. I'm actually a nonconformist/hippie still wearing bluejeans and drop earrings and the Alice-in-Wonderland hair with headbands and sandals. Favorite flavor is chocolate/orange, favorite color is either Dreamsicle orange (cantaloupe) or bubble-gum pink, favorite musical is either Bye Bye Birdie, Rocky Horror, or The Producers . . . wait, I also love The Music Man. Is this getting way too specific and irrelevant yet? Obvious why I don't sell a ton of flash fiction, isn't it? To define oneself, I always say, it is good to make a list. How about a booklist? Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird Frank and Ernestine Gilbreth, Cheaper by the Dozen C.S.Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (all the Narnia books) J.R.R.Tolkien,The Hobbit/LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy Gail Godwin, The Odd Woman F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby J. D. Salinger, Catcher in the Rye (before dismissing it, actually read it) George Orwell, 1984 Kurt Vonnegut, Cat's Cradle Donna Tartt, The Secret History Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn James Allen, As A Man Thinketh Mark Winegardner, Elvis Presley Boulevard James Thurber, My Life and Hard Times The Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum Winnie-the-Pooh/House at Pooh Corner, A. A. Milne Peter Pan, J. M. Barrie The KJV and NIV Bible (each translation has its glories)

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