Saturday, July 19, 2008

Critiques from 50,000 feet and Empty Nest

I managed to get back from Lucky Labs despite losing my keys (in my purse, how embarrassing!) thanks to C.S.'s patience and wherewithal.  

It was a very intense meeting, covering an entire novel (not written by me.)  The downside proved to be that there's so much information cascading in that it can be overwhelming.  On the upside, having that overview and perspective (as D. put it, the view from 50,000 feet) is great.  So I'm really looking forward to the time when the Lab Rats take on my novel.  I like intense and I like perspective.  These things are my friends.  So I'll be smiling and happy when the Rats cut me open and dance around the pub with my entrails.  La la la la la!  The gent on the chopping block took it very well, amazingly well considering the level of, ahem, honesty.  I think he's going to make it.  It takes guts and heart to endure a long critique.  

Now I'm thinking about entrails again.

And I'm thinking about honest critiques and belief in the story and how those two energies combine to help shape a story.  A critique is candlelight shining from the nightstand.  It's the writer that makes love in the bed.  So hopefully the author will go home, think about everything everyone said, and start reaching deeply into himself to start creating the story anew.  

I don't think editing after a critique is about fixing what's on the page, unless I'm satisfied with what's there and the reactions I'm getting from people I trust.  That sort of line edit and cleaning up is just a peck on the cheek before I ship the story off into the wide world.  I think it's about discovery and passion and molding and really getting in there and feeling while I write with a focus on expression and revealing meaning.

On a side note, it's been kind of lonely on the submission front.  I think I've got empty nest syndrome.  Nothing to do, I guess, but write more stories so I can start marketing them too.  Now that I'm in the habit of making submissions, when I don't have anything to send out on Monday I feel like I'm just spinning my wheels.  This is good, I know--I've finally got the marketing thing ingrained enough that I miss it when I have nothing to send out.  But it's also a sign that my portfolio isn't very deep.  I don't want to reach back and pull out old stories.  So I guess I have to come up with more ideas for shorts and write them.

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