7.29.2005

"Is it Crap?" part three

Another brave Snarkling inserts his artful self into the Crap Detector here at Snark Central.

The sky is that magnificent blue which comes only with the advent of hard frosts and clear October air. She could see it through the windows all around her. She could see orange and red leaves dropping from big trees growing near the house, watching them fall against that blue background.

Looking over at him as he dozed softly, she could not remember if she had ever made love in the afternoon, in a room surrounded by windows with the shades up. Surely she must have, in some far away time when she was younger, surely there was a time when it did not matter if the sun was down, or the curtains pulled tight, or the door locked against the intrusion of friendly neighbors and children. But, right now, she could not remember such a time.

All she could remember, now, was the soft touch of his hands, the intensity of his eyes as his fingers traced the outlines of her body, pausing here and there in response to her trembling . The reverence in his eyes held her attention, making her forget everything that would normally make her nervous. The absolute adoration of her, and her body, on his face, in his touch, in his whole being, held her thoughts captive and took her away from this sunlit room.

She could not remember anyone ever doing that before. It must have happened, must have happened more than once, but she could not recall, could not remember anything like this. She reached out and gently touched the skin on his back. He stirred and she pulled away, not wishing to disturb him. She felt a tear work its way from the corner of her eye. She wondered if it was sadness that her life had gone so long without this kind of love, or happiness that she had found it at last, here in this sunny room with leaves falling against the blue October sky.


It's not crap.
I'd read on.

12 comments:

kitty said...

If we are to learn, please tell us why you liked it.

Anonymous said...

It's classic show not tell. We get the feeling the heroine is sad, that there is something looming over this moment. The decriptions set the stage for what she's thinking. I want to read more, too.

Anonymous said...

No, it's not crap. It is simply self-indulgent and pretentiously poetic. A work of someone who has once had literary ambitions. I recognize my brethren when I see 'em :)

Anonymous said...

Agreed. It's ambitious, but awkward. I don't like reading bits where I can actually hear the puffed-up author's voice in my head overpronouncing each haitch, har-har. Plus there's a lot of useless repitition: "She could not remember anyone ever doing that before. It must have happened, must have happened more than once, but she could not recall, could not remember anything like this."

Pam said...

I like the repetition. It adds to the melancholy. Yeah, it's poetic, but nice poetic.

So here we sit, Snarklings all, proof positive that what one reader loves, another don't.

(Grammatical error in that last sentence done on purpose, for effect. Heh.)

Anonymous said...

I'm thinking, if I were an agent, I wouldn't have gotten past the grammatical error in the first paragraph (lack of verb agreement in first and second sentences).

Maria said...

If nothing else, Miss Snark provided 3 critiques--a service often touted at conferences that many authors pay big bucks for. Here, as a service to snarklings, she gave the advice and with it, a sampling of what one might expect at a conference venue that touts similar services. (The conference/seminar that I am familar with selects the first 25 samples submitted. These samples are then "read" and critiqued by an expert editor/agent for the fee.) Some conferences may include "readings" so that other people can throw in their 1/2 cent, pence or Canadian coin they couldn't use in the US meter.

All in all, a nice set of posts from which to glean a few gems.

Now we need to talk 007 into critiquing a few cover letters...

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Miss Snark, for the encouragement by saying, "It's not crap!"

Thanks also to the others who chimed in. Incidentally, the mismatched verb tense in the first two sentences is/was based on my study of agents who claim they toss the ms as soon as they hit the fourth "was". Tis a tricky bit of grammer, yes, it is.

I'm a poet and didn't know it. Thanks for the kind words.

Literary? Naw, trying for a better seller than that genre. Never had those pretensions, but, as you might expect, the little buggers insinuate themselves in anyway.

Literary would be if I went on for 350 pages like the first one. I assure you, I didn't.

Thanks for all the feedback, everyone.

Anonymous said...

tough crowd

Anonymous said...

I think there's a big difference between being critical and being downright useless. I wonder how many writers who chanced into publication read their rotten reviews and thought, "Geeze. Tough crowd."

Miss Snark said...

Remember, I'm not looking at this with Grandmother Snark's Guide to Grimmer Grammar at hand.

When I get a query letter and sample pages I'm reading pretty fast. The obvious stuff like it's and its;
lie, lay, laid; lightening and lightning; those get the auto reject. If it sounds "off" in my head I might read more closely, but the first read through of the mail every day is to find the stuff you don't have to read again. That's the 85% crap.

There's a HUGE chasm between that first read and reading more (ie asking for a manuscript) let alone actually signing anyone.

These posts were designed to show you what I would think as I read them if they came to me through the mail.

And remember too, it's my agency, my taste and my eyeballs doing doing picking. Some very reputable and respected people in this biz think my taste sux. But..theirs does too.

Anonymous said...

I wish to heck I wrote this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Absolutely beautiful!