The weather is cooling down – hace fresco – in North Carolina. But the writing’s only heating up!
I’ve just come home from the writers’ critique group which meets the third Wednesday of each month. Each month I go, apprehensive at what critiques of my work will bring and excited to share my praises, questions and suggestions at the other writers’ works in progress. It’s a kind of secret fun to “see behind the curtain” and experience these stories as they grow up from roughshod, marked-up pages to strong-voiced, complex manuscripts. (At tonight’s meeting, I also gave away some of the plentiful collection of freebie books I got at ACFW – see previous post.)
Unfortunately, after I receive all those tasty tidbits of feedback (my writer’s soul thrills at the positive, acknowledges the areas for improvement, and quakes when I realize I’ve made a character act quite uncharacteristically – I should listen to them more), I have to go home and actually make the edits. That’s the hard part.
My first manuscript – Church Critic – met with positive reviews from the agent and three editors I met with during the ACFW conference. They liked the premise, telling me it was original and fresh. In other words, worth pursuing!
BUT – and that’s a big but for sure – I’ve got a long way to go to spruce up the story. Concept is clear, but the writing execution and consistent voice needs bigtime help. So that’s what I’m working on now. How long it will take is anyone’s guess – I’m hoping to keep it to one to two months, but that’s an optimistically short timeframe.
At the ACFW conference, my new friend and writing sister Tanara McCauley suggested the book, “Self-Editing for the Fiction Writer.” I went ahead and ordered this on Amazon.com today, as well as the Chicago Manual of Style, which every editor at the conference suggested.
Unfortunately or fortunately, new stories keep tugging at my brain. I had a daydream moment today where a dual, two-protagonist story across two time periods sprung into mind and seemed like the most interesting, fun thing in the world to write. I am quickly jotting down the gist of it, because story ideas glitter brightly and then disappear if you don’t catch them quick. But sadly, I’m going to have to click “Save” and close the window if I want to be loyal to “Church Critic” and focus on her first.
At any rate – thanks for the encouragement and for reading. I appreciate each of you!!! God bless.