I’m spending a soggy morning studying scribbled comments on a story I read at a recent ninevoices’ gathering.

There was one description – of a workman on a ladder – that elicited so many opposing views (talk about a Celtic and Rangers match!) that I asked people write ‘yes’ or ‘no’ in the margin.

This was the result: (You know who you are, people!)

No. (with a suggested alternative)
Yes! (with two ticks)
Yes! (underlined) plus the comment ‘For heaven’s sake do NOT (underlined) lose this.
One abstention

My cat has just strolled over the page and deposited a muddy paw print on the contentious paragraph, which may suggest a further ‘no’, though she isn’t officially a member of our group.

HOWEVER – this demonstrates how differently we all view the written word. Had this been a group of agents considering a submission it might have resulted in three requests for the full manuscript.

I will sleep on what to do, though I’m quite attached to my description and do have a majority on my side.  If I ignore the cat…