Tuesday, October 11, 2011

October 11 Day 2

Yes.....I got an email from my editor yesterday. She really didn't have much to say other than she was terribly busy and apologetic for not getting back to me sooner. She still has not gotten through the entire book and wants to do that before she starts to go over my revisions. OK, not exactly what I had hoped to hear but not exactly bad news either. Patience is a virtue...I keep telling myself.

Anyway...my question today is why are writers so dependent on feedback? OK, that was a stupid question. It's obvious why we're so dependent on feedback. How else are we supposed to know if our work is at least relatable? I suppose when you deal with people who deal in words everything revolves around said words. Duh. I find that I welcome, even the negative feedback, if it gives me a chance to "talk" about my writing. Is that narcissistic? Maybe, but maybe it stems from a desire to make that work, those words, the very best they could be.

I have joined a few online critique groups and posted some of my writing. Some of the critique was incredible. Incredibly bad. One woman had nothing to say about the style, prose, lack of punctuation or grammar.She wanted to comment about a scene that I had posted where a person was drowned by another person. She claimed that I knew nothing about drowning. She cited research papers on how people actually drown and so on and so on. Are you kidding me? First of all I write FANTASY, second I wanted to scream at her, "how many people have you seen drown?" When I realized that I wanted to scream at someone, anyone, I figured that this particular online critique group was not for me. As a side note to that particular episode, I worked as a lifeguard and swim instructor for many years. Fortunately, I never witnessed a drowning but I did witness many scenes of people who thought they were drowning and who might have if they had not been rescued. I never mentioned that to this particular critique group. I can't say that I did not get any helpful information from these critique groups, but for the most part it was more mean than helpful.

My next level of feedback comes from family and friends. My husband is finally learning that he can be painfully honest and I will still feed him. He does give me many insights into the "holes" in my characters. What I call holes are the motivations for doing things that seem perfectly natural to me because I know these people so well, after all I am them. Anyway...he will tell me it doesn't not make sense to him, that so and so would do such and such. Then, I realize that I need to divulge more information about so and so to the reader, so that they see the motivation for them doing such and such. This is helpful. 

Also, my husband is my punctuation expert. One of the things that has always intimidated me about writing is punctuation. I love to tell stories.I have absolutely no idea where the commas should go. I like to sprinkle them in every so often to look literary. Rick goes over my manuscripts and takes my commas out and puts them in the right places. Lately, I've given up and don't use them at all. This way when he edits he has a "blank page" so to speak, and can just comma away to his hearts content. JUST SO YOU KNOW, HE DOES NOT EDIT MY BLOGS. COMMAS ARE OPTIONAL.

I envy those writers who have found great critique groups, particularly those that meet in person. If you can trust your critique partners and know that they love you and want you to succeed, ah...you can get the help that you need. This will always be difficult for me. I have trust issues.

That's it. I'm still working on the revisions and waiting for more feedback from my editor. I'm anxious to start looking for representation for this book. The characters are anxious for me to start on Book III and finish telling their story. My new mantra... Patience is a virtue. Trust me, a virtuous woman is hard to find.

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