Being a bit short of spending $$ (the kind that don't have to go towards bills), I've been a regular visitor to my local library lately. And found it very disconcerting to try out a new crime writer, whose book is apparently their fifth, and put it down after less than ten pages because the writing was so bad.
I see problems with tense changes in students' writing all the time. They don't even see half the time when they've done it. Usually they slip from present into simple past and vice versa. Now when I see this in a published novel - and there was no way it was any kind of style thing or neat device - I cringe. A lot. It was so awful in this novel that I kept wincing, and wincing doesn't encourage me to keep reading.
Forty winces later, I chucked it. In case you're interested, the book was "Broken Bodies" by Sally Emerson. Maybe someone out there who has read it can tell me what was going on. It just looked very sloppy to me, or at the very least, a style thing that did not work.
Only writing this week was the rewrite of my friend's fantasy novel - one scene that I cut from about 8 pages down to 4, just like she did for mine. The first thing she said was that I had taken out a lot of her description and she was right. I had felt that the problem with the scene was it was too long and the tension was not maintained, nor did I feel inside the viewpoint character's head and emotions. It was too distant. Again, just what she'd said about mine!! A very interesting exercise to do, and to see the outcome when someone else does it on your work.
Classes start on Monday. Prep continues.