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>>>>I don't think the intent is to make you write a perfect passage, because there is no such thing.

Hook: Well, certainly. That was my point. Even some of those who critiqued the original disagreed with one another on some of the points. I was just looking for affirmation that the second version was better than the first. I'm not shooting for perfection, just improvement.

>>>>That is why a good book on writing style makes a much better investment than having someone copy edit a manuscript -- teach a man to fish, give him a fish, etc. etc.

I agree, but reading "don't overuse adverbs, write in active voice, don't tell, SHOW" doesn't help if you already know these things. There's nothing new there. But we all have blind spots in our writing. In Draft 2, and again in Draft 3, I made a special point to look for and correct these things, and yet I still obviously overlooked many of them. That's where having a third party (or many third parties) look it over and offer their opinions is helpful.

I don't necessarily agree with all the comments (and in some cases the offered alternatives may be even worse than the original). Yet the fact that the sentence or passage bothered someone enough to write about it tells me there is probably *something* wrong with it and I should at least consider rewriting that bit. I may write something completely different from what the reviewer suggested, but hopefully the end result will be better than the original, which should be everyone's goal (writer and critiquer).

That's why I appreciate the time you and others spent offering your suggestions. My first reaction sometimes is to bridle at the comments (after all, you just called my baby ugly!), but I always take a second look at the comments to determine whether they indeed have merit. As you saw from the second posting, I made numerous changes to the text (although not everything that was suggested) as a result. But in some cases, I'm not sure whether the changes were actually an improvement (the marionette line, for example).

Thanks again.

Mark.
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