Where Are We Now?

dogI recently came across the sentence below in a novel:

The eleven miles between Howard’s Ford and Cedar Gap took me forever, and when I got there it was more of the same.

After reading this sentence, do you know where the protagonist is?

If you guessed Cedar Gap, as I did, you’re wrong. Well, sort of wrong, because the next paragraph describes scenes and activities in Howard’s Ford as if that were the protagonist’s current location, and also scenes and activities in Cedar Gap as if the protagonist were there.

Then, in the paragraph after that, the protagonist stops at the grocery store in Howard’s Ford.

Annoyed, I nearly closed the book and added it to my return-to-library pile. But, hey, I’m a fan, and even the most vigilant of writers and editors can’t catch every little glitch in a manuscript. Things slip through.

Besides. I need material for my blog, so I slogged on, in spite of not knowing where the heck the protagonist was. The book is engaging, and it would be even more so if the reader didn’t have to work so hard to get oriented.

Questions and comments welcome.

Cheers,

Tara Treasurefield
Treasurefield Communications

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About 123clear

I translate foggy information into plain English.
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