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I don't intend my comments as criticism...

Ummm...why not? If there's some toe stepping going on here on my part,...

I wrote my comments before I read yours, so no intimation of "toe stepping" intended.

I simply meant that my few, selected comments do not constitute valid editorial criticism: too brief, too focused, and too out-of-context.

It's one thing to flag a few editorial queries. But bearing in mind that the novel is already completed, I'm not conceited enough (even if I am an editor) to say, "OK, now go back and rewrite the whole thing in the style I'm suggesting" -- which is essentially what "criticism" of the excerpt would imply. Also, my career has been as a non-fiction editor. Without a few fiction novels under my belt, I don't feel I have the expertise/experience to say "Trust me. I know what I'm talking about." When it comes to fiction, all I can say (editorially) at this point is "I know what I like." And that may very well not be what other people like, or what the author is aiming for.

Fiction is not my baliwick.

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