Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Facing Fear

Today, I sent the 75 pages to a friend for the last crit before they go to the agent. I'm expecting this one to be my toughest critique. The friend is a fellow writer, and she's good. She's published and knows what it takes to make it into this world I'm trying to get into.
I value her opinion.
But at the same time, I'm nervous.
It's hard to put so much time into something, be exited about the results you worked so hard for, and then get a dismal critique back. I haven't gotten anything back yet, but I have to assume there will be plenty of work to do.
It's hard on the ego.

On the other hand, I don't feel I've got any business submitting these pages to an agent without doing EVERYTHING I can to make it the best it can be. That means letting go and letting my friend comb through it, then putting in the work that needs to be done after I get it back.

I've gotten better over the last year about receiving less than glowing feed back. I'm learning to take it professionally, and not personally. And honestly, I'd rather my friends - who want me to succeed - point out my weak spots than let an agent see them. Skipping over this step could equal lost opportunities. I don't want that.

So, cross your fingers for me!

Hmmm...Where'd it go?

I actually blogged something Sunday night, but it's not here. Must not have hit the right button. Oops!
I'm 26 pages from the end of this round of edits for Claimed.

I know that doesn't sound like a lot, but for me it is. I'm dissecting sentences and paragraphs, and comparing the new one to the previous ones looking for repetitive words, redundancy, passivity, weak verbs, gerunds, and most of all, showing instead of telling. All of this makes for a much more indulgent read in the end.

With this being my first attempt at writing a novel, it's taken a lot of time. The story's been reworked a number of times in an attempt to get it right. I'm still not sure I've got it there, but that's what I have crit partners for, and my local writers' group - HeRA. As I learn more, I try to apply it. Sometimes I'm surprised, because it's something I'm already doing. Other times, I need to tweak parts of the novel. And still other times, I have to redo something. I still feel I'm lacking in his POV and responses to what's going on, but there's so much that needs to be in her POV, because she's going to have the greatest reaction to it, or it affects her more.

Back in December the agent I'd submitted my first three chapters to asked me to revise and resubmit. She gave me direction on what those revisions should include, then asked not only for the first three chapters, but the first 75 pages.

Those pages are nearly ready to go. She told me to take my time and make it shine. I've tried my best.