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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

LETTERS to the SLUSH PILE #20

Dear --------,

You're got some great story-telling technique, but every now and then, you stop me right in my reading tracks. Please don't write like a girl.

I say this very tongue in 'chick', because I'm a girl (okay, a woman), too. You've got this great cyber story going on, with lots of action, and then you throw in a descriptive line like this: "Her hair was the colour of Chardonnay."

Now this might work if your story had some context to it concerning wine (as in wine punk - now there's a fresh idea), but on it's own, it reads like a romance-writer's cliché. There were other small faux-pas like this in your piece (as in describing a guy as 'a tall, broad-shouldered brunette' - brunette has a feminine cast to it - dark-haired would have been better.) These little mistakes aren't enough to make me reject your story (because they are easy to fix), but I just thought you should know. Maybe these wouldn't bother another editor, but they bugged me. Every word in your work needs to reflect your chosen genre, your tone, and a consistent style.

You're doing some good work. This picky little hint will make your stories even better.

All the best, Susan.

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