The first two readers of the manuscript for my next novel, Sketchtasy, have the opposite opinion of the beginning of the third chapter. One thinks that suddenly the voice of the narrator feels more forced and distant, like a stand-up act, and the other thinks this is the part where the narration really takes off. So, now I know that something is working—I just have to figure out what it is. Today I hear from the third and fourth readers—editing is so fun! Oh, did you want a taste? Here’s the beginning of the third chapter, as it is now:
It’s true—I’m now doing time at the exclusive Copley Place. Not in the mall, darling, but in those upstairs offices facing the magnificent atrium. Now, don’t get all excited thinking I have a view of the broken-sun sculpture pouring water onto the hallowed granite where Neiman Marcus shoppers tread. No, no, my dear, this is classic office realness so of course my lovely cubicle faces another lovely cubicle, and behind that lovely cubicle I can glimpse another lovely cubicle, facing, well, facing me, my cubicle, and I.
My highly sought-after position consists of making crank calls for the Uncommon Clout Visa Card—you know, the card that gives back to the gay and lesbian community. With every purchase. And, when I say Uncommon Clout gives back, honey, I do mean gives back.
That's right—every time you use your Uncommon Clout Visa card, we make a donation of 10 cents to the nonprofit of your choice. You heard me right—10 cents. That nonprofit is going to be rolling in dimes way before you can click your diamond-encrusted ruby slippers and say: There's no place like Saks Fifth Avenue. Before you know it, you’ll be using that card, honey, using that card and saving our gay children 10 cents at a time.
And, now, you don't even have to call 1-800 GAY CLOUT because you’ve got this bitch on the phone to set you up with the debt bondage you’ve been waiting for. Yes, I know gay clout is eight letters and your standard phone number is only seven, but GAY CLOT just wouldn't be as catchy. Don’t worry, there’s absolutely no annual fee. We offer a low 9.9% APR for your first six months with credit lines of up to $25,000—and, you can request an additional free card for your domestic partner or domesticated French poodle. If just a few hundred thousand people use this card regularly, we can truly make a difference by supporting worthless nonprofits and other exploitative businesses that happen to call themselves gay or gay-friendly.
But there's absolutely no pressure. I'll just sign you up, and then you can cancel when you get your balance up to $24,999. I'm not working for the collectors, honey, all I need is your name, address, and Social Security number. Or, actually, if you want, you can just give me your abusive father’s name, address, and Social Security number, and we’ll go with that. We here at Uncommon Clout are nothing if not flexible and I would like my two-dollar commission. Talk about a shopping spree.