Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Critique

The stack of papers is six inches high, and that doesn't count the spiral notebook.  

What's in this stack?

Hours, hundreds of man hours of work.  My writing, my heart, and the hearts, dedication and generosity of the people who critiqued Masks.  They went over the whole darned thing, every page.  Some of the manuscripts have every page marked.  Hundreds of pages.  That represents a tremendous amount of effort and stick-with-it.  I'm so humbled, and grateful.

And excited!

The critique today was impressive on many levels.  Everyone was insightful, thorough, well spoken.  And everyone was so passionate!  I didn't get the feeling from anyone that this was a wearying exercise in endurance.  If it was, they faked it well.  With some critiques lasting into the ten minute range, and nine of us altogether (if I'm counting right) that's over an hour in critiques and then me asking questions for who knows how long afterward about some tough editorial choices I had to make.  I wouldn't be surprised if the group spent two solid hours working with me on this.  Again, I'm humbled and grateful.

I'm especially grateful because they gave me so many fabulous ideas and gave me a good idea of where the work fell down.  I got the impression that it didn't fall down too far too often, but I think if I address the issues they brought up it will really shine.  

That's what it's all about!  Now I've got to turn myself about.  Or something like that.


Things that puzzle this other goddess.... said...

I'm so glad Masks is still active. I really would like to see it published. :)

Kami said...

Me too! :-) I won't give up on this one. I think it has too much going for it.

These things take a long time. I don't know how other writers manage to crank out a quality book in six months. It takes me 1-4 months to write a first draft, and although I'm hoping to become a more efficient editor, it takes me 2-3 years to edit a novel. I've heard it takes some folks even longer, so I'm not irrationally slow, but still ...