What a great round! A big thank you to everyone who took the time to critique the entries. I was delighted to see the comments continue to pour in yesterday, and I'm hopeful that the authors were able to glean something useful from the varied responses.
A tiny something baffled me, though. More than one critter referred to Entry #1 as being in "present tense." Um. It's not in present tense. It's in past tense.
Now, I'm admittedly a grammar snob, so of course something like this is going to rattle my chains a bit. The three simple tenses are very black-and-white: past, present, future. Not, in my mind, mix-up-able.
A sentence from the entry:
I slid the serving tray into the rack on the bar and flashed my best waitress smile.
The verbs slid and flashed are clearly in the past tense. Otherwise, the sentence would read as follows:
I slide the serving tray into the rack on the bar and flash my best waitress smile.
The above sentence is in the present tense. First person, present. Like the Hunger Games books.
Which may be part of the problem. We've got Mockingjay ringing so loudly in our ears that as soon as we see the pronoun "I" we start hearing everything in present tense.
(Seriously. I'm still having emotional flashbacks and I finished the book almost a week ago.)
I don't know. I just want us all to be above reproach when we comment on grammar. Because we're writers. And grammar is the foundation of our craft.
Anyway, no condemnation, no finger-wagging. None of that. Just a call to higher ground for all of us. Dotting our i's and crossing our t's, as it were.
Big hugs to everyone! And have a delicious weekend.