Friday, August 12, 2016

Friday Fricassee

I've just got to say how impressed and thrilled I am by your critiquing response during this Secret Agent Contest.  The normal pattern is lots-of-crit on the first day, and then just a smattering the next, with light trickles by Friday.  This time, Wednesday AND Thursday saw a continual onslaught of crits coming through.


There are so many new names here, as well, and I'm delighted that you've jumped headlong into our community.  WELCOME!  And thank you for sharing your time and writerly insight.

Honestly, it's just so encouraging to see this level of support for our fellow writers.  I LOVE THIS SO MUCH.  I tell people over and over how amazing the online writing community is--not just here on MSFV, but all over the place.

Eons and ages ago, Jodi Meadows sent me one of her manuscripts to read.  This was before she was published--in fact, she wasn't even agented yet.  But she was leaps and bounds ahead of me in the writing department, and I was TERRIBLY intimidated to read her novel and offer up my opinions.  And in all honesty, I didn't have a lot to say.  Not just because the story was good (of course it was!), but because I wasn't sure what, exactly, I ought to be pointing out.

(Grammar, for Jodi, was and is never an issue.  I think probably she was born knowing all the grammar rules.  So my one strength back then--grammar--wasn't really needed.)

Anyway, I did what I could, and Jodi and I continued to read each other's work for several years.  My point?  You just have to JUMP IN and start critiquing other people's work.  You won't know what your critique strengths are until you actually do it.  Also?  You're not responsible for whether or not the writer actually takes anything you say into consideration.  A smart writer knows what to hang onto and what to chuck.  Your role is to offer your best advice, and then to walk away.

I had to teach this to my dear husband, who gave me notes for one of my novels and then proceeded to hound me.

No, really.  I'm talking, "So, do you agree that ___?"  "But did you read what I said about ___?"  "But don't you think you should ___?"


He was lucky to be thoroughly loved.  Especially when he STARTED TO SULK after I told him to back off.

Poor Mr. A.  He's been through so much.  I give him all sorts of credit for sticking with me.  I do.  He's amazingly supportive.

And on that note, I'd best be off to pack my little bag for our anniversary weekend getaway.  Exciting in itself, but even more exciting when I ponder the fact that WE ARE BRINGING BOOKS TO READ.  Books!  This man, who for our entire married life has not been a book person, WANTS TO READ WITH ME.

My life is complete.  :)

Of course, I have to give Mary E. Pearson's Remnant Chronicles the credit.  I had a moment of weakness  kindness and handed my husband the third book so that he could read it first.  (What was I thinking?)  I will have to content myself with Harry Potter 4 while I wait for him to finish.

All right, then!  Have a wonderful weekend.


  1. Thank you again for doing this! I really appreciate the opportunity to see how my first 250 words are received. It is so helpful

  2. I'm with Hopeful. This and the other contests are amazing. I appreciate the time it must take to organize it. I'm also impressive by the critters. All the comments I've read so far have been thoughtful.