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Topic subjectRE: No such thing as perfect
Topic URLhttp://www.fmwriters.com/community/dc/dcboard.php?az=show_topic&forum=17&topic_id=91037&mesg_id=91059
91059, RE: No such thing as perfect
Posted by bonniers, Sun Jul-01-12 11:56 AM
Yes, Cheney's book focuses on that issue -- looking at ways to enhance rather than hurt the story and voice. I learned about it ten or more years ago when I took a seminar with Cheney. It was the first time I felt like I understood what revision and editing were supposed to accomplish.

Reader mode is a good one to critique from. I think when we critique as writers, we tend to pay too much attention to the "rules" (Gasp! You wrote a sentence in passive voice!) and not enough to whether it works.

By infelicities I meant things like screwing up parallel structure, describing things inconsistently, accidentally calling it a "red fish" in one chapter and giving the fish a name in another. That kind of thing. For instance in my genie story, I had to remember that people from a hot dry climate probably wouldn't use metaphors similar to "snowed under" because they don't have the concept of snow. It's not so much that there was anything wrong with the phrase I used, but I missed a chance to solidify the character's world view. I have a lot of that in my prose.

I'm not saying KKR is wrong. She makes a very good point. But it's like any other writing advice: it needs to fit the individual's needs and style.