Joan Mora said...Thanks Alicia,
You got me--I do obsess over each word.
Here's a before and after. The first one trips over itself. I didn't change the ending because the grandmother's spirit is the element I'd like to highlight. (If you didn't mean for me to copy a sentence here--apologies!)
Crossing the threshold, a powerful force struck Julianne, as though she were entering a different time, one in which her grandmother’s indelible spirit lived on.
Julianne maneuvered the threshold as though she entered a different time period, one in which her grandmother’s indelible spirit lived on.
I'd go with the progressive-- as though she were entering-- because entering could well be a progressive move, not a single discrete move.
You see why "crossing the threshold" is a dangling participle? The Powerful Force isn't crossing the threshold. So that was a great catch, to put Julianne as the subject of the action.
But what's wrong with "cross"? Maneuvered kind of implies that she's moving the threshold around rather than going through it. Negotiated? Moved through? But crossed is a good concise verb for thresholds.
Now IS she entering a different time period? "As though" means it only seems that way. (See, I'm still locked into what the threshold is like. Maybe it is a way to another dimension. :)
This is a bit clunky (one in which) for an already longish sentence:
one in which her grandmother’s indelible spirit lived on.
How about "where her grandmother's...."?
Just a thought.
This doesn't actually apply to yours because yours isn't that complex a sentence, but I want to note it while I'm thinking of it. With really long, complicated sentences, I think often we're trying to make the sentence do the work of a paragraph. The paragraph, not the sentence, explores an idea and its effects or examples or support or whatever. Often I think writers try to do that all in one sentence. You don't have to. The reader will assume (I hope with justification) that everything in a paragraph belongs together, supports something central. So don't make sentences bear too much weight, even-- or especially-- in a synopsis. Stop thinking in terms of sentences. Sentences' main role is to be part of a paragraph. :)