Friday, July 30, 2010

Friday Fricassee

Can it really be the last weekend of July? (No, really. I don't have any sort of psychological dependence on summertime. Or anything.)

So I'm eager to hear your responses on this week's 750-word critique. Success? Call for repeat performance? Critters: How was the length as far as reading/critting time was involved? Entrants: Was the feedback useful as ever?

Suggestions for changes?

And if the feedback is overall positive, we'll definitely do an adult version soon.

As for me, I'm still in the midst of my new WIP honeymoon. What is it about the giddiness of a new story, new characters? And I've got to admit that this is the MOST excited I've ever been to start a new novel. Despite the fact that I in no way planned to write something new at this point. This was supposed to be my Year of Nabbing An Agent via Other Completed Works. Admittedly, the year isn't over yet. Just slightly halfway over. And I still have a decent amount of requested material out there. But I'm so involved with my WIP that it almost doesn't matter.

Wow! That's new ground for me. Pressing on with my work REGARDLESS of who's sitting out there with my "other stuff." Which is what we all need to do, all of the time. Which I HAVE done, but there's something decidedly different about this go-around. And it feels good.

So. Still haven't "arrived" (do we ever?). But growing. Evolving. And feeling ever more confident about my journey, both personally and professionally.

Even if I do shed a few tears at the occasional, unexpected form rejection. It's therapeutic. Private venting goes a long way toward emotional intelligence.

That, and I ate fairly large amounts of white chocolate this week.

So thanks for dancing with me, as always. We are, none of us, alone. Unless we choose to be. And I choose not to be. I need this wonderful community. So many of you give so much.

If only you knew.

Happy writing!


  1. As an entrant (#10), I am VERY pleased with the feedback I received! I'd had betas calling for more backstory, so I put some in, and others saying it was too much. The main reason I entered was to get impartial opinions on that topic, and the critters were all over it, in a very nice way.

    The hardest part about having only 250 critted is so many questions are left unanswered, when sometimes the next couple of paras provide the answers critters have. I REALLY appreciate this opportunity and everyone who commented.

    Thanks, Authoress! And best wishes on your WIP!

  2. I was entrant #5 and I want to thank EVERYONE who took the time to read and (in some cases) give some really in depth and well thought out feedback. I really appreciate it and for me, this was a worthy experience. I can't wait to tighten my beginning up using some of the feedback given and hopefully make into something an agent can get hooked into right away! Good luck on your journey- looks like you and are in the same exact boat! I started querying american agents in December and I'd really like to have one by christmas time this year. But I've gotten to the point where I know I'm doing all I can do- i'm focusing on my newest project, and all that's left is keeping my fingers crossed and praying my fairy god agent will find me someday.

  3. What a beautiful post!

    Chocolate consumption aside, it appears you are doing well, Authoress, with the finished MS, the requests for more from agents, and especially your enthusiasm for the WIP. By offering this lovely forum for everyone to gather and enjoy a cuppa (and some chocolate-covered pecans), truly you are one of my faves of all time.

    Regarding the 750 submission, I like about any old thing you care to kick out to us newbies, so I will go along with the crowd’s reaction.

    I am not hard to please.

  4. I didn't enter the 750, but enjoyed reading the entrants. I think keeping the cap at 10 entries makes it manageable for most people to comment on at least a few.

  5. I haven't read the 750 entries . . . yet. On my agenda for this weekend. Crazy week at work and obsessing over new WiP! Just finished the rough draft Wednesday night . . . in less than two weeks, 53K+ words, and about 230 pages.

    Ah, the love and obsession of a new WiP that consumes us beyond all consuming and makes those around us tiptoe by warily in case we - okay me - decide to SNAP at them for interrupting the flow of words!

    Have a great weekend and may the words and inspiration always flow for you!


  6. I think this format was perfect. 250 words is just touching it on your tongue. 750 is a nice-sized mouthful to chew on and get the flavor of. That being said, it was good there were only 10 entries because there was more to read. I can understand now why agents ask for query + first 5 pages. I wonder if the secret agents would prefer this format as well? Anyway, I sure do, and I hope you do this again.

  7. Funny how we all know what we're supposed to do when we're querying (press on with new material, keep a clear head), but so often find ourselves doing something else:)

    Thanks for this post, Authoress. And good luck with the material you still have out there. How do you decide when to stop querying a project? (But if you don't want to answer that, I completely understand.)

  8. First, thank you for doing this, Authoress. I think 750 is a much better feel for-and flavor of-the story. I'm happy with the comments left for me, (#7), and only wish it were so easy to please agents. Or maybe it is and I'm just the most unluck person around. Shrug.

    All the same, I love that you do this. Thanks to you, and all who take the time to comment. <3

  9. I really enjoyed reading the other entries from the 750-word round. It gave a much better feel for the stories and the ten entries made it manageable. My own entry (#6) received some good feedback and I've already made revisions based on what people said. Thanks so much to everyone, and especially Authoress!

  10. Best of luck w/ querying and your new wip!!

  11. I found the 750-word critiques extremely helpful. It allows you to delve deeper than just the first page, and give a pretty solid idea of the writer's strengths and weaknesses. Reading the other entries gave me a better idea of how to balance narrative with backstory,and made me look at my own excerpt with a (hopefully) less biased eye. I had been going back and forth between using a mini-prologue or not, but after reading the comments, I dumped the prologue and did a significant overhaul of the first few pages. It wasn't easy to overcome my thin-skin and take the criticism, but I'm glad I did.

    Also, a big thanks to Authoress for spotting a problem with my entry when the bot cut me off at only 131 words. It's things like that that make me love this site, and really appreciate all the work you do. I'm rooting for you in your current submissions and your work in progress!

  12. I have to agree with everyone else. I think 750 words was perfect. I really appreciated the wonderful feedback I received. Thanks everyone. I think it would be great to do another 750 word crit or two...or more.