Writing Historical Fiction discussion

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message 1: by Karen (last edited Aug 25, 2015 12:55PM) (new)

Karen Klink (karenklink) | 20 comments Please let me know if this first chapter "hooks" you and, if not where you stopped reading, or any other type of critique you have:

“No young man is fully aware how much he is indebted to female influence in forming his character. Happy for him if his mother and sisters were his principal company in infancy.”

The Young Man’s Guide, T. R. Marvin, 1847.


Adrien believed someone should have told him love could not last.
Maman held him to her, declaring what a beautiful boy he was. Bernadette, nearly a year younger, toddled after him everywhere with adoring eyes. Isaac, his same age, only brown, wrapped his arms and legs about him all night long. Their people, both white and brown, smiled, picked him up and swung him about as though they couldn’t keep from holding him.

By the time he five, he could dress himself and ride the old mare, Dolly. He spoke French as well as English, and slipped eggs from under the biddies before they knew he was there. When he was six he spoke Spanish with their hostler, Miguel; he could count and add; write love notes to his Maman and Bernadette; and read the entire first McGuffy’s Reader. He did all these things because they made Maman lift him from the floor and squeeze him with joy. "What a clever little gentleman you are," she exclaimed.

Once, hiding in the hall, he heard Maman say to Papa. “You have Lucien with you always, and he will have Blue Hills when he is grown. Surely you might leave me Adrien, to raise as a fine gentleman with an education. I would rather he not become like these uncouth Texas people with whom we are surrounded.”

“You forget, these Texas people, as you call them, are descended from some of the finest stock the South can produce.” Papa's accent was different than Maman's because he was Louisiana Creole and Maman had come from France by way of Savannah and Houston. This was what Maman's maid, Betta, had told Adrien, after she said that sometimes he sounded like Maman and sometimes like Papa.

"The ladies may have some refinement," Maman said, "but the men are wild, and well you know it. Many become wilder the more power they gain." Her tone changed, became lower. "I might name one known to us . . . but I shall not."
Adrien ran down the hall and out the door, ran from the sadness in her voice.

Maman took him and Bernadette everywhere with her. He especially liked to visit their neighbor and Maman's friend Mrs. Hart, at Hartwood Plantation. His friend, Will, was Mrs. Hart's son. They were the same age, and Will was fun.

Berni was fun, too, mostly. People said they were like twins, even if she was a girl who got in his way all the time. They both knew how hard it was when Maman wanted them to do one thing and they wanted to do another. He and Bernie were alike in one way—they would do anything for Maman, even if doing so was hard. Even Papa did almost anything Maman wanted. Maybe because she was beautiful. Papa had told her more than once that she was the most beautiful woman in Washington County, likely in all of Texas.

Adrien's big brother, Lucien, was Papa's favorite. Adrien didn't mind. Lucien looked like the medallion on their oven door in the kitchen. Maman said the ceramic medallion was the profile of a Greek ideal. Adrien loved to run his fingers over its cool, smooth contours, which hung at just his height—except when the oven was hot and Esther, their cook, shooed him away. He decided Lucien was the same as Horace, Prince of Troy, a hero who died in single combat to save his family.

When Adrien was still in the nursery with Bernadette, Lucien had his own room down the hall. Lucien was nearly as tall as Papa, tan and strong with curly brown hair he pushed back from his thick brows. Lucien had his own horse, pistol and rifle, the same as Papa.
Always hurrying off to join Papa in the fields or cleaning his rifle, Lucien never had time for Adrien. Adrien tried to keep up, but his shorter legs always left him rushing up to where Lucien had already disappeared.

Adrien scrambled out of bed before dawn every morning to join his brother and Papa for breakfast. Breakfast was one of the few times when everyone was together in one place. Papa made it clear he preferred a peaceful start to his day. There would be no discussion of the day’s work or anything else until after Papa had finished his second cup of coffee. Shortly after, Papa, Lucien and Papa's overseer, Marcus, who was also Isaac's papa, would ride off to the tobacco fields, leaving Adrien and Isaac gazing after them from the front porch.

Another together time was supper. As the western sun slipped behind the trees, their butler and house man, Simon, would light the candles on the walls and the dining room table, adding the smell of beeswax to the wonderful aromas of roast chicken, pheasant or smoked ham. Simon had been their butler as long as Adrien could remember, along with Betta, Maman's personal servant, and Esther, their cook.

At supper Papa often asked Lucien about the tobacco or the cattle or how well someone was working out in the East Field. Papa depended upon Lucien to know these things.

“Adrien,” Maman said, “eat your dinner or it will be cold.”

“I’m sorry, Maman, I was listening.”

“It is possible to listen and eat at the same time, mon cher.”

Adrien liked to watch his family. Faces said as much as words, especially Lucien’s face, the way his eyes got big and round and his mouth smiled and showed his white teeth. He never looked like that at Adrien. His eyes got narrow. His mouth, too, and the ends went down.

Lucien sent words at Adrien not one else ever did. “What a Mama’s Boy.” The words slithered out of his twisted mouth as though the older boy had eaten a slimy frog. “Mama’s Boy,” muttered whenever Adrien happened to pass by, but never loud enough for anyone else to hear.

Perhaps if Adrien was more helpful, his brother would like him. On a morning he had learned their hostler was busy with a new foal, Adrien followed his brother out to the barn and fetched his horse's bridle. Jacob snatched it out of his hands, exlaiming, "You cussed little pup. I have to live in the same house with you, but stay clear of me!" Lucien gave him a cold stare. "You got that?"

"Yes." He barely got the word out and ran for the house.

There was something wrong, something bad inside him only Lucien knew. Adrien wanted to ask him what the bad thing was, but he didn't think he could get the right words out. If the thing was so bad, maybe he didn't want to know what it was.


message 2: by Carla, The Virtually-Real Modern Historical Mod (new)

Carla René (carlaren) | 84 comments Mod
Hi, Karen,

Thanks so much for jumping in!

If you haven't already, kindly introduce yourself and say howdy in the Introductions thread.

Also, try and squeeze in some time to read through the "READ ME FIRST!" mini-FAQ for this and other folders, since they contain the protocols for those folders, with the blah stuff like rules.

On that note, I've edited your subject heading to fit the guidelines. It always helps me know about how much time I need to devote to a review piece if there's a word count, which is why it's been included in things to use in your subject.

Also, once you read this pinned post you'll see that the shorter works usually get more responses, but it's perfectly okay to post a full chapter in two parts. Just make sure to leave about a week before posting the next part or chapter to give everyone time to respond.

Finally, if you will post a short description of context for the book, that helps readers/reviewers know more of the direction your vision is heading so our reviews will support that vision.

I think that's it! Since this is a longer one than the guidelines suggest, I may get a review started but know I won't get one done right away. Classes began yesterday so tomorrow the homework begins.

I hope you enjoy your time here, and welcome!


message 3: by Carla, The Virtually-Real Modern Historical Mod (new)

Carla René (carlaren) | 84 comments Mod
Karen wrote: "Please let me know if this first chapter "hooks" you and, if not where you stopped reading, or any other type of critique you have."

Okay, Karen, going to give this a go, but have so much to do tonight don't know how far with it I can go.

And to clear up confusion, I will place your book passages in which I'm commenting in italics and bold.

“No young man is fully aware how much he is indebted to female influence in forming his character. Happy for him if his mother and sisters were his principal company in infancy.”

Is this based on a young man's journal of the title listed beneath it? That's what I'm assuming, and if that is the case, you can certainly place it in italics. Don't know your publishing background, but internal thoughts and journal excerpts, as it was told to me, are usually italicised.

In this passage, and after reading more about it, I think I might put a semi-colon after character. Semi-colons indicate a closer relationship between the first and second sentences than the full-stop periods do, so can probably be more a matter of taste, and what you have is also grammatically-correct. But I know I had to reread it at least twice before I could clearly see the relationship.

But did want to notate my difficulty, since that's why we're here. :)

Also, when shopping my short-story Blood Alley around to magazine publishers in the horror genre, one actually sent a real letter back, suggesting that I not begin my stories or novels with a quoted journal excerpt, since that's also what I did with it. It's a story based on John Haigh, Jr., who was England's most notorious serial killer, dubbed The Acid Vampire, since he disposed of his dead victims in acid. I thought the idea of starting each new section with a quote from his real-life journal would be clever, since the quotes foreshadowed the action to come. But this editor deemed it "hacky"; a trick or device meant to hook my readers.

I confess to not knowing if ALL editors feel this way, but did feel compelled to share my own experience with you in that.

I also must tell you I LOVE it. It's a snazzy opening and tells us immediately of this young person's coming struggle.

Unless an editor tells you to yank it, or a publisher you're querying says to kill it, then I'd keep it. :)

The Young Man’s Guide, T. R. Marvin, 1847.

I like this very much. It immediately gives us the year in which this is set, since historical fiction covers SO much territory, and is also clear in telling us that this will be a learning experience for this young man, which we need to know.

Adrien believed someone should have told him love could not last.
Maman held him to her, declaring what a beautiful boy he was.


I believe there is probably a paragraph break in your original MS after 'last', but here it didn't format correctly.

I like the next sentence very much. Declaration is a strong word and does well in painting the scene, and THAT is our goal in historical fiction: using the least amount of verbiage in order to paint/set the most telling and descriptive scenes.

I also notice your language is very nice from the beginning. It certainly isn't modern, but sets a certain time. In fact, when I read it a third time, it reminded me very much of something Jane Austen might state in one of her own novels, since it could very well be one of her own themes on the proper behaviour of a young man, in the lush and highly-descriptive language one would find in her novels. (She was a huge influence on me.)

It *did* however, take me a bit of time to learn exactly whether this was the open plains, or more Victorian NY/London, and I had to read farther to answer that. (One way I use to delineate this time setting might be the use of words one uses in the lower classes [a very real concern during this period] for mom and dad. I had read in researching my own The Gaslight Journal , that the upper classes always used some incarnation of "Ma-ma" and "Pa-pa," and the lower, especially on the plains, used "Ma" and "Pa". I wish I still had my original reference for this, or could cite a source for you. :( Although I've seen period pieces set in the West in this time using what would sound like "Pop-pa", emphasis on the first syllable, but spelled as you have it, so not sure how you intended that pronunciation to be.)

Maybe I missed clues you dropped, I dunno. But whilst it is very well-written, I also find I'm not connecting with anyone, which is key. So my initial impression is, no, it's not really hooking me yet.

By the time he five,

Missing word: was. By the time he was five.... Don't know if you read your prose aloud to yourself, but that's the way to find missing words.

Once, hiding in the hall, he heard Maman say to Papa. “You have Lucien....

There's a comma after Papa.

Papa's accent was different....

Normally, I would be all over this with corrections to dialect. However, you DID get this one correct.

I was a dialect coach for television/stage actors when working in network television, and dialect coaches use proper terminology that linguists use, but the general public misunderstands. (And with good reason: the dictionaries also list them incorrectly.)

Dialect is the variances in speech produced, generally, by the immigrants who settled those areas before them and influenced their native speech, including patterns, syntax, colloquialisms and idioms. It is to be used when referring to the speech of people who speak the same language but are from differing regions.

For instance, there are probably close to 15 or more regional dialects in the state of Texas alone, each one sounding very different from the other. And because we ALL speak English in the States for the most part, Texans' dialect is different than that of a Chicagoans' or even someone from Georgia.

On the same note, someone from the UK will also speak a DIALECT to someone else who speaks English as their native tongue.

Accent is the variations produced from someone who speaks an entirely different language. This is the one folks misunderstand and miss, referring to ALL regionalisms as dialect when they're not. The lady from France WOULD have an accent since English is not her native tongue, when compared to the young man who was from Texas.

So, they're relative terms. People from differing regions in France would also have dialects, but overall, their general speech when compared to Spaniards or Americans would be an accent.

Her tone changed, became lower.

Did you mean to indicate here that her volume became lower, or her actual vocal pitch? In physics, tone isn't a synonym for either of those two.

Adrien ran down the hall and out the door, ran from the sadness in her voice.

When I find a passage that makes me start, I have to read and reread it a few times before I make comment. This was one of those.

At first I thought it may be punctuation, but there's nothing wrong with it grammatically and your punctuation is correct.

Then thought it's because, for the most part, you've written in full historic, past tense, (I prefer historical present, which makes you feel as if you're looking in on the present as it's occurring IN the past), but don't think that's it, either.

Maybe it's simple wording. Adrien ran down the hall and out the door, away from the sadness in her voice. The repeated use of the word 'ran' is what it was, but that's certainly your choice to change it or not.

From here Maman took him and Bernadette everywhere.... to about here ...them from the front porch. is mostly exposition. You have a few paragraphs in a row in which there simply isn't action, it's ALL telling, and I must confess that I tended to tune out a bit. And since I wasn't immediately connecting with characters from the beginning, this was easy to do. Yes, I believe we need exposition, and it's necessary especially in the first chapter. And if this is the full length of your chapter (comparatively short), then that is a very small part of exposition.

But, it's still telling, and especially in the opening chapter, showing and not telling is the most important part. And with the way you've written this, I'm afraid readers may tend to zone out as I did with the telling, and very little action.

And by action I don't mean something necessarily physical. Action in fiction or prose-writing is CONFLICT. JA Konrath is THE king of conflict-use in his prose, so if you come on anything he's written about the use of conflict, read it voraciously and learn from it.

The entire time we spent together in our online writing group, that's pretty much all he blabbered about in his reviews of our stories: use more CONFLICT; you need more CONFLICT, whatssamadderwitchoo?? And in most unpublished word I've edited from new writers, conflict was THE missing ingredient. The writing was great, but there needed to be something driving the action.

Conflict drives the action, and can be found in any number of places, but most of those break down easily into 3 categories:

1. Internal: fighting within yourself for something you want but are afraid, for whatever reason, to take;
2. External (local): fighting against someone else for something you want;
3. External (global): fighting against the world and its politics for what you want.

Other incarnations of these same categories are also used in comedy-writing, but that's my other group. :)

And of course, conflict is nothing without harmony/peace. Conflict creates tension, and needs to be balanced with release. So for each scene of conflict, in which the very nature of the character is exposed through his actions and responses to that conflict, then there needs to be scenes of release, a great place to introduce exposition and the character's internal thoughts.

I placed a book on this group's bookshelf that I've used and found extremely helpful for over 5 years, and it's the Bickham book on writing technique. It really is a small book, very thin, and he addresses this very thing in a few of his short chapters, even regarding historical fiction, which is why I put it up there. Like I said, because I don't know your writing/publishing history, don't know if this is not your first book and it was a style choice, or if this is a first novel, so please don't take offense to my suggestion. I just know having one of my beta readers tell me most of my first chapter, which was mostly descriptive exposition, had to go was hard to swallow, but in the end she was right and my book was better for it.

Lucien sent words at Adrien not one else ever did.

No one else ever did.

There was something wrong...maybe he didn't want to know what it was.

Did you ever think of beginning the book right here? Because THIS was the place where the action began and I really started to gain interest: the hint at something dark lurking beneath, in what Adrien deemed this far to be the perfect family. It was brilliant at highlighting several types of conflict present within the scene: the external conflict at being accepted by his older brother, and the internal conflict at how hard it was to be a grown man and learn how to manoeuvre his life.

In the Bickham book, he suggests that readers of even historical fiction need to be hooked, and the way to do that is to begin the book in the MIDDLE of conflict. Beginning the story here would do that, and because we're going to be reading more to see what happens, we'll be hooked, as well as immediately invested in the interest of the characters.

That will make whatever exposition you slip in later more palatable, at least imo.

Overall, VERY well-written. I like your narrative style. Just could use some tighter passages.

HTH!


message 4: by Karen (new)

Karen Klink (karenklink) | 20 comments Thank you so much for the time you obviously put into reading and editing this submission. I will definitely take your advice to heart.

I knew something was not right with this beginning, but I couldn't put my finger on it, but you have. I truly appreciate everything you have said.

That little beginning section is a quote from a guide book for young men published in 1847. I will be using these quotes from the young men's guides and young ladies' guides as they apply to each chapter.

Do you know of a good copyeditor for historical fiction?


message 5: by Karen (new)

Karen Klink (karenklink) | 20 comments P.S. How do you create italics in the comments here?


message 6: by Karen (new)

Karen Klink (karenklink) | 20 comments P.P.S. I did introduce myself, but did so months ago. I have responded several times to other's comments, but this is the first time I have introduced something of my own.
Sorry. I didn't realize this was too long, as it is not the entire chapter. I will do better next time.


message 7: by Carla, The Virtually-Real Modern Historical Mod (new)

Carla René (carlaren) | 84 comments Mod
Karen wrote: "Thank you so much for the time you obviously put into reading and editing this submission. I will definitely take your advice to heart.

I knew something was not right with this beginning, but I co..."


So glad I put my finger on it!

And since those are quotes from a real guide, EVEN BETTER! Excellent! Yes, by all means, keep them.

I do editing for comedy, general and HF, but really don't know of anyone off-hand. If I hear of someone, will post them here, though.

To do italics, use the following but with no spacing between each: < i > before the word/phrase you want in italics, and then < / i > after to close off the tag. Use b for bold, and u for underlining. It's basic .html code and if you click on the (some html is ok) link, it will tell you what to do.

No worries on the length, but that's why I added a word length so others could make a determination.

I *thought* I had seen you before but wanted to be sure.

And I'm just SO happy you shared this! I really hope you get other responses now that others have seen the usual way reviews are given and received. This is the normal play between reviewer and author, and it's very painless. :)

Looking forward to subsequent installments!


message 8: by Carla, The Virtually-Real Modern Historical Mod (last edited Sep 13, 2016 12:00PM) (new)

Carla René (carlaren) | 84 comments Mod
Carla wrote: "Karen wrote: "Thank you so much for the time you obviously put into reading and editing this submission. I will definitely take your advice to heart.

I knew something was not right with this begin..."


To others thinking of reviewing and adding stories for critique:

Don't worry if the author doesn't agree with your review: we're still going to be friends, and no one will shout and get upset. As sure as I was of my comments, I also knew there was a good chance I could be wrong. But only Karen could tell me that for sure. That's the way it is, and supposed to be in this process.

Authors, don't be afraid to politely disagree with the reviewer. Karen could not have given a more perfect response. She very politely and warmly thanked me for my time and comments, agreed with what she thought to be weak areas, but I didn't really get the feeling she fully agreed on the rest.

AND THAT'S OKAY! She was very politic and polite about it, and that's how you do it. She may need time to think it over, or better yet, wait to see what others say, since that's a valid way of knowing if there are weak areas. For me, if at least 3 people mention the same areas as being weak, then I srsly think about reworking those sections.

I hope you all noticed what she said: she knew something was wrong with the beginning, but couldn't identify it.

THIS is the perfect example for why it is so very important that we take advantage of participation in a review/critique group and not be afraid to open our work up for review.

Karen was much too close to her own work to really see what she was missing (I hope she will add comment to dialogue this point so we all can understand it better). Was it she was a weak writer? NO WAY! She's probably one of the strongest I've seen!

Then how could she miss something?

Because, and I do not mean to offend her, it's an affliction all writers suffer and must deal with, and that's ego. And that isn't necessarily a horribly-inflated ego that's destructive, that's not what I mean. I mean the feel of pride and accomplishment, and even sometimes wonderment that we finished a novel. And those are good things and necessary, but IN THESE FIRST SESSIONS FOR REWRITES, EDITS AND REVISIONS, you absolutely need the most objectivity that you can have. YOU NEED AS MANY PAIRS OF EYES ON YOUR MS AS YOU CAN GET!

WE, the reviewers, are not emotionally-connected to your work like you are, and during the revision phase, that is the best thing to have on your work--readers who just aren't afraid to tell you moving or cutting certain passages will make your work better.

We get in patterns that aren't always good when writing. Those reviewers keep us honest and accountable TO THE READER. THIS is what you need to remember.

For that is for whom we write.

Thank-you so much for your willingness in learning more about the benefits of reviewing and receiving reviews, and for having faith in the process. I am a living testament that it WORKS!

Who's next? <3


message 9: by Carla, The Virtually-Real Modern Historical Mod (new)

Carla René (carlaren) | 84 comments Mod
Karen wrote: "Thank you so much for the time you obviously put into reading and editing this submission. I will definitely take your advice to heart.

I knew something was not right with this beginning, but I co..."


The more I think about it, the more I see it may be that guide that will serve as your successful "hook" for your readers. Very exciting.


message 10: by Karen (new)

Karen Klink (karenklink) | 20 comments I must add to your comment about being too close to your own writing. I am also a copyeditor (new to it and freelancing) and would never expect to do a final copyedit of my own work for the reason you say. I have been exchanging critiques on Critique Circle for years, and we still miss in our editing. I may try and try, but no work will be perfect (or it will never make it to the publisher).

I often find I make the same mistakes in my own work that I find in other writers' work I edit. Proof of the pudding.

I have submitted this piece because I need as much help as I can get. Thank you all so much.


message 11: by Carla, The Virtually-Real Modern Historical Mod (new)

Carla René (carlaren) | 84 comments Mod
Karen wrote: "I must add to your comment about being too close to your own writing. I am also a copyeditor (new to it and freelancing) and would never expect to do a final copyedit of my own work for the reason ..."

Beautiful, and SO thankful you mentioned that. They've only been listening to me yammer on about it now for five years, time they heard it from the lips of someone else. :)

Cheers!


message 12: by Patrick (last edited Aug 29, 2015 02:06PM) (new)

Patrick Highers | 9 comments Karen wrote: "Please let me know if this first chapter "hooks" you and, if not where you stopped reading, or any other type of critique you have:"

Hi Karen,

Thank you for sharing your work, I am not an editor but a writer who is likely not yet where you are. It would be best for me to comment as a reader here. As a reader, I would like to say that the first chapter did grab me. I was captivated by your style and your descriptive writing.

Karen wrote: "By the time he five, he could dress himself and ride the old mare, Dolly. He spoke French as well as English, and slipped eggs from under the biddies before they knew he was there. When he was six he spoke Spanish with their hostler, Miguel; he could count and add; write love notes to his Maman and Bernadette; and read the entire first McGuffy’s Reader. He did all these things because they made Maman lift him from the floor and squeeze him with joy. "What a clever little gentleman you are," she exclaimed.

This paragraph was telling for me. I read it several times to gain an understanding of Adrian's desire and ability, his need. The only thing that jumped out at me was:

By the time he _____ five,

I also read the input from Carla. I agree with Carla in terms of conflict. I personally did not know how to improve your writing until reading the critique, Carla wrote. For me it is as simple as, "Do I like it or do I not," and I loved the inflection and nuance that distinguished your characters period in time. With that said, the internal conflict of your last bit seemed to be the most powerful, and that, I now realize is because of conflict.

Thank you both very much!


message 13: by Karen (new)

Karen Klink (karenklink) | 20 comments Patrick, thank you for taking the time to read this and comment. I have already made appropriate changes and will probably make more as I hear additional critiques. Funny how I can't seem to see in my own writing when I catch in other writers' stories.


message 14: by Harry (new)

Harry Nicholson (harrynicholson) An interesting start, with complex relationships and a location that arouses interest. I felt a bit removed from Adrien as the narrator stood between us and told me what Adrien experienced. I'd look for ways of going tighter (with the camera and mic, as it were).

Some notes as I read:

........from under the biddies ....... An American term for a laying hen? I had to do a search - perhaps just use ‘hens’.
................He decided Lucien was the same as Horace, Prince of Troy, a hero who died in single combat to save his family............ What age is he? He appears well educated for a five year old - or is this later in his growing?
........Lucien sent words at Adrien not one else ever did........... 'sent seems weak, consider 'threw' or 'tossed.' Also: 'not one else' = no-one else?

Do we see Adrien at one point in age? Is he five, throughout the piece?
When he collects eggs from the hens, perhaps give us something of his sensations, the scent of straw, the soft crooning of contented poultry, the occasional egg soiled with a soft dropping . . . etc. More sense of the farmyard.
I hope that helps - a first impression only.

regards
Harry Nicholson


message 15: by Carla, The Virtually-Real Modern Historical Mod (new)

Carla René (carlaren) | 84 comments Mod
Harry wrote: "An interesting start, with complex relationships and a location that arouses interest. I felt a bit removed from Adrien as the narrator stood between us and told me what Adrien experienced. I'd loo..."

Well-done, Harry, and thank-you so much for your offering. If you have something you're working on, we'd love to reciprocate.

~~C


message 16: by Harry (new)

Harry Nicholson (harrynicholson) Thanks, Cara. I've recently indie published my latest HF. I've not begun another yet - just enjoying not doing much at present. I'm told by the good lady of the house that I should get on with my memoirs . . .


message 17: by Karen (new)

Karen Klink (karenklink) | 20 comments Thanks so much for your critique, Harry. I posted this chapter months ago and have since edited the manuscript, even deleting most of this chapter in order to "get on" with the story.


message 18: by Carla, The Virtually-Real Modern Historical Mod (new)

Carla René (carlaren) | 84 comments Mod
Hi Karen,

Thank you for sharing your work, I am not an editor but a writer...."


Hi, Patrick,

Was just rereading this thread when I saw the above comment I should have addressed when you said it, as I'm almost positive there are a great number of others who reserve commenting because they're "not editors" either.

That isn't what critiquing is about. It isn't about feeling qualified to comment, or having a degree in English, or even years and years of publication history and short-list awards behind you.

It is about EXACTLY what's happening in this thread: as one expresses his feelings/impressions, another learns from those. Really nothing more complex than that. Eventually, you see so many critiques done and participate in critiques, that you begin to recognise those things in your own writing. It trains you to self-edit. And eventually out of that, you see it so quickly that you excise it from your mind before it ever hits the page.

It excites me when members take a chance and post something or comment.

We're making small progress, but it's progress, folks! Well-done.

Cheers,
~~C


message 19: by Karen (new)

Karen Klink (karenklink) | 20 comments I agree. It's not editors who read our books in the end, but other readers. Editors are necessary to make our books readable, but we writers need folks to critique our books first, so we know we are on the right track. Every new critique I have has added something valuable to the final manuscript.


message 20: by Patrick (new)

Patrick Highers | 9 comments Thanks


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