I’m three days early in adding this post, but simply can’t help myself.
This year my on-line critique group is doing whole-novel critiques. We just finished critiquing and discussing Donna’s book. It has been a wonderful experience, for, as Donna pointed out, we all chose her chapter 2 as the chapter we least liked or saw whole-book purpose to. Yet, she reminded us, when she passed the chapter through our group while we were doing one or two chapters at a time, we all liked the language, chapter arc, etc.
We’ve been learning that we can be great writers, but miss the forward-moving action of a great story. It’s an eye-opening discovery.
It can get very lonely and discouraging, waiting to hear back from editors or agents. This past Christmas I heard from two long-time writers friends who decided to pour their creative energy into other-than-writing stuff — Aaron is in theater and Meridee now does pottery. They’re both great at what they do. I’m glad they’ve found contentment.
Sometimes I feel like I’m splashing around in an ocean, clinging to a life ring, waiting to be rescued. I feel some hope as I kick together with another writer, also on her life ring, or a group of us (networking, it’s called in the real world). I let the theatre and pottery boats pass me by. I sometimes rest a while on a magazine or web boat. But I aways end up back in the water, kicking and hoping and waiting. Some day I know that agent-editor boat will pass and rescue my weary bones. Sometimes at the crest of the wave, I imagine I see land… but I’m not sure.
Keep on kicking, you faithful writers. Either ship or land is bound to come our way sometime.
It is a good point that within a chapter the writing may be good but when reading the whole project the chapter just doesn’t work or isn’t really heading in the right direction. Good luck with your critiques.
Thanks Cassandra. And nice “thinking outside the box” post on your blog.
I love to swim. Yes, truly I love the journey but maybe that’s because I’m a beginner. I find it so exciting when my grandkids say, “Read that one again, Gram.”