It’s like slush invaded my novel

Oh, God. Why?

Dressed in a simple white chemise, stitched with a hint of gold at the bosom, the Faerie Queen made a symphony of white and gold.

White and gold, huh? You don’t say.

The Faerie Queen, on a dais across the room, rose from the simple wood chair in which she sat talking with a cluster of other Fae.

It’s like I was trying to use every preposition in one sentence.

On the other hand, I’m quite fond of this image.

The naiad hummed under her breath and the gills on the side of her neck yawned pink against her pale blue skin.

Did you know you can support Mary Robinette on Patreon!

20 thoughts on “It’s like slush invaded my novel”

  1. Hey, at least you’re catching it before it slips out much further.

    Of course, I must submit the nitpick that I think the image you like would flow better if phrased “The naiad hummed under her breath, the gills on the sides of her neck yawning pink against her pale blue skin.” 😉 Ever so humbly (and anxious to know what happens next, you are just teasing me, aren’t you?!)

      1. Yes, please. And I need to check my bloody GMail more, it seems. I just hit today and found the gift you left me like EONS ago. =/ Rest assured, if you would like it proofed it is officially at the top of my priority list this evening, ma’am. And I shan’t fall down on the job again. I have smacked myself repeatedly over the last half-hour. =/

  2. Heh, somewhere out there, I bet there’s a mean-spirited computer nerd writing a virus that inserts bad prose into authors’ otherwise beautiful writing. . .

    And it’s already infected my computer!

  3. Angela Slatter

    In fact, it’s OKAY it happens to the best of us!! That’s why we have editing. D’oh.

  4. You are awfully tough on yourself. You can at least catch it before it’s submitted.

    I however, promulgate passionate and purple prose poised for professional print publication.

    I could teach you…

    >:) >:P

      1. Oh, I’m sure you’re not as…shall we say, inspired, as some of the slush that comes through Shimmer.

        I’ve had my moment… 😉

  5. You know, if the story is good, I probably wouldn’t even care. So what if the white is very white, gold is very gold, and forests are full of trees?

    Yeah, of course this kind of stuff will bug some people, but not me (if you can distract me with a good enough story to ignore those details).

  6. Huh. I just tried to hum under my breath. Couldn’t do it. Turns out I can either hum, or I can breathe, but I can’t manage both simultaneously. Of course, maybe if I had gills (or had made it to the Codex retreat, participated in the eldritch rituals, and learned your arcane ways…).

    1. Hmmmmm…..

      Humming requires air to pass over the vocal folds, so you have to do the exhalation portion of breathing to hum. “Under one’s breath” means “in a muted voice,” not “without respiration” so you probably can hum under your breath. Granted, there are those people who are incapable of being quiet but I don’t think you fall into that category.

  7. Heh. Those first two may have been some of the bits I was referring to when I said, “the prose tends to feel less graceful somehow.”

  8. As others have said, at least you caught it and can bring it up to your usual high standards. Besides, I’ve read much worse.

Comments are closed.

Scroll to Top