August 18, 2005

Holy Crows...

FIRST, for the record, if 1) you thought Tuesday's entry was a TOUCH risque and 2) you are my mother (I suspect these two states of being will coincide), let me assure you that I did not actually GET Kira's joke about the Patriarch and Egypt, and indeed only included it because Mir said it was very funny and not to worry my pretty head about it.

Glad we cleared THAT up.

As you know, Oh My Best Beloveds, most of the GCC members (including me) have auctions up on E-Bay to raise money for one of our own who lost EVERYTHING but her dog in a lightening-meets-cottage-whoops-no-renter's-insurance accident. My auction for a signed first ed of gods in Alabama and a crit, is now over 100 bucks and I am rethinking it. On the one hand, it's flattering and more importantly, Marianne has NO earthly goods so, YAY! But then----YIKES! I have to come up with a crit so detailed and insightful that it is WORTH over 100 bucks. DOH! I am thinking I better go WORD BY WORD. So, if you WIN, perhaps your crit will look something like this:

"Her" --- Good word to begin a sentence with, as long as the subject of the sentence is female. If male, you might want to try "His." Or if the subject turns out to be, say, a spaceship or a rhododendron, "Its" is a handy word.

"canine" -- A little formal. Try "dog."

"teeth" -- Oh, wait. ix-nay on the og-day suggestion. That's fine then.

"were" --- Hmmm, I am suspicious of were and all related be verbs. Can an active verb go here?

"pointy," -- YES IT CAN! Cut the WERE and just say, "Her canine teeth pointed" which, wow, she must have some freakishly prehensile canine teeth! I am now very interested in this character! WELL DONE! But I am a very insightful reader, so you may want to help the less schooled out here and say UP FRONT that they are freakishly prehensile. Also? Maybe you should get some ADJECTIVES in there so we can better picture these acrobatic mouth pointers. I like PALLID AND VENOMOUS for her (or its or his, as the case may be) teeth, personally.

"indicating"-- AH good, I was dying to know what the teeth were pointing at, but indicated is FORMAL again and can probably be cut, because if they are pointing they are by definition indicating something. Let's now SURGE forward and see how the sentence ends...

"a randy nature." Hmmm, Well, little grammar foible here. A PROPER NOUN like "Randy Nature" needs caps and doesn't take an article, so cut the "a." Also, don't you think NATURE is a little...obvious for a last name? Like, let me guess. This Randy guy will be some sort of vegetarian tree enthusiast, RIGHT? Thought so. Try something a little less heavy handed. Like, Finkelbeir. OKAY so. Let's look at how this first sentence shapes up.

You had: Her canine teeth were pointy, indicating a randy nature.

Now it reads: Her pallid, venomous canine teeth pointed in a freakishly prehensile manner at Randy Finkelbeir.

Hey, I know. It's amazing what a pro can do. Stop crying! You are WELCOME, already! No, really, stop crying....

Bid early, bid often, and if I have just terrified you, there are PLENTY MORE THINGS up for grabs in the Marianne Mancusi Fire Fund Auction-Gallery of Charm.

Posted by joshilyn at August 18, 2005 4:10 PM

Well, with that new first sentence, they'd be able to enter the Bulwer-Lytton contest! ( Maybe even win ;-)

Posted by: Kestralyn at August 18, 2005 4:24 PM

Oh, Damn, Joss... I wish I were still teaching grammar in night school!! I would SO copy this blog and have them analyzing it... and your comments...


Posted by: Debra at August 18, 2005 4:35 PM

Yeah, I allowed someone to outbid me in the critique when my fiance raised his eyebrows to ask if I would be sending you the NONEXISTANT fiction manuscript. But I did bid it up to over $100, LOL.

Posted by: Heather McCutcheon at August 18, 2005 5:43 PM

That is one of the funniest things I've ever read. I'm sitting in my office dabbing my tears. I hurt myself trying not to laugh out loud! Seriously - I pulled a stomach muscle or something. Hilarious.

Posted by: Jessica at August 18, 2005 6:16 PM

DAMN IT now I wish it hadn't gone too high for me to bid. This is the sort of hard-hitting advice that my writing NEEDS.

Posted by: Mir at August 18, 2005 7:45 PM

That was hilarious. I'm sure your critique will be more than worth however much it goes for. It's such an awesome thing you guys are doing. Chapeau!

Posted by: Michele at August 18, 2005 11:19 PM

I see with the bidding that you are right under the people who are editors and whatnot with publishing places. Cool beans.

After reading your critique sample, I may have to go crank out a chapter really quick and make a bid. You really have a way with words!

Posted by: Chickie at August 19, 2005 7:08 AM

Okay, now? I might have to go bid. I wasn't going to because I've been focusing on screenplays and the like, and although I have a novel in my head and even sixty pages written, I had put it aside in favor of other pursuits. BUT perhaps it could be rescued with a freakishily prehensile something-or-other.

Posted by: Aimee at August 19, 2005 10:39 AM

Somehow you will find a way to turn that first sentence in to a pointy - but funny, ohhhh very funny book about Randy Finkelbier and his toy poodle - Fe Fe.

Posted by: Cele at August 19, 2005 11:02 AM

Joshilyn, you are hilarious. And I do the same thing. "Uh, let me tell why that comma is in the wrong place. If you go to Strunk & White, it says blah, blah, blah. But St. Martin's Handbook says blah, blah, blah. And have you read Eats, Shoots, and Leaves? So let's rearrange the sentence and see if we can get rid of the comma. Or we could just move it here. Oh, that doesn't make sense? You're confused? Wait, what are you writing about anyway?"

Posted by: Edgy Mama at August 19, 2005 1:31 PM

THIS is exactly the kind of pointed (prehensile) critique my manuscript needs. If only I had money, I would have to bid on this.

Posted by: Trudy at August 19, 2005 3:18 PM

I can't afford $100. Sorry! But I DID get Kira's joke and laughed my butt off. Don't tell my church members. *snicker*

Posted by: Heather at August 20, 2005 8:37 PM

You are up to $305.00 now! It is well worth it though, so don't fret. Now, I must go find the risque entry, don't want to miss that!

Posted by: Rbelle at August 22, 2005 1:04 AM