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Sunday, June 22, 2008

The coolest discovery EVER!!

Well, okay, it doesn't beat sliced bread, but come on! Who can top that? The point is, I'm super excited.

As some of you know, I've been working on some revisions. I finally got the critiques back, made the changes, and YES! I sent them. So give me a great big pat on the back. Anyway, now that I'm eagerly stalking my inbox to see what the verdict is (and yes, I know it's unrealistic for me to think that I'd get an answer this soon, but I'm a writer. I'm neurotic. Part of the job description), I had a thought.

Be afraid.

Rather than biting my nails, driving everyone crazy, or worse, cleaning my house, while I wait, I'm going to be productive. NO, I'm not writing another book. I already have five that could go to this place, and I'd rather figure out if they're viable before I write another. Okay, fine, I AM writing another. But that's not the point I was trying to make.

Here's my point:

I have great critique partners. They help me see the things I can't see in my own writing. And they gave some really good feedback. In fact, I'm going to give just a quick plug for one of them, Camy Tang, and her Story Sensei critique business. Yes, she'll charge you. BUT it's worth it. She hacked up my manuscript something fierce. And I believe that the story I just sent is a thousand times better because of it.

So, rather than working on a new book (resisting the temptation... resisting the temptation... did I mention it's an AWESOME story), I'm taking what I learned and applying it. I know, scary thought. I've got the comments from my lovely friends (and no, Camy's not the only one who chopped it to pieces, she's just the only one I can promote), and I'm going through my other stuff and seeing how I can apply it. GACK. The work I have just created for myself.

But it's going to make me a better writer, which means in the long run, I'll be a better writer. Which is the advice I just gave to a newbie writer in a contest entry I judged. The writing was beyond putrid. And yet, I could feel her passion for what she wrote just as clearly as I could see the red-highlighted words spell check said she missed. Bad writing can be fixed. But you have to be willing to learn the craft. To step out and say to someone you know is not going to be nice to you, "do your worst," and be willing to accept that criticism. Greg Johnson of Word Serve Literary recently spoke to our ACFW group and said that one thing that impresses him is an author telling him that s/he had several strangers read and critique the book and that s/he applied that criticism. Are you willing to step out and learn whatever it is you need to learn to become a better writer?

And I still haven't told you my discovery.

Because I'm committed to becoming a better writer, I'm going to apply what I learned to the other things I have in the hopper. However, I hate hate hate editing on screen. I get dizzy. So I do a lot on paper. Which is great, except we have wimpy printers. I usually just put it on a flash drive and head to Kinko's. And that's when I found out... I can do it all via Internet and then pick it up when it's printed. For twenty five dollars, my friends, I will have a printed version of the book I'm going to be editing. I just have to go pick it up. No more waiting at the store with whining children while it prints. Nope. It'll be ready when I get there.

Life is so good.

1 comment:

Camy Tang said...

Aw, thanks for the plug! I'm so glad the crit was helpful! Yay that you turned it in!!!!