Some Sentences, Sept. 2017 – A matter of perspective

The general rule for writers is that when someone criticizes your work, suck it up, Buttercup. After all, everyone’s taste is different. Every so often, though, you get a knock that’s almost humorous.

This past weekend, I was at the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers’ annual Colorado Gold conference. (If you’re in the West and write fiction, check ‘em out. Amazing group.)

One night featured a book signing by several of us, lined up at long tables with our books, all of us casting sidelong glances at the around-the-room line of people waiting to get their books signed by Diana Freaking Gabaldon, who is possibly one of the smartest – and also the funniest – people on earth.

ReservationscoverFinally, a lone straggler wandered up to my spot on the table, picked up my fourth book, Reservations, started to read, and immediately laughed.

I knew why she was laughing. If I say so myself, that book’s opening is kickass.

I preened. “The first sentence, right?”

She nodded. Already basking in anticipated praise, I picked up my pen and prepared to write something witty and generous when I signed her copy.

“I guess you have no control over what your editors do to your work, right?”

And with that, she put the book down and wandered away.

I laughed at myself for a long time. But you know what? I’ll be forever grateful to my editor for not touching that sentence. Here it is:

The day that would see Ben Yazzie transformed into shreds of flesh in too many evidence bags began with a rare strong and satisfying piss. 

Kickass.


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