Thursday, September 28, 2006

Crits

I enjoy critiquing other people's writing. I like to think of myself as an up and coming editor --ha-- But anyway, it came to my attention the other day that not all critters are alike. There was this group I was in years ago that thought a good critique is where you "criticize" every other word! Their goal, and they don't mind admitting this, is to chase you away as a potential competitor in the publishing arena. Nice friends. No, I'm not with that group any more. The next group I joined was the exact opposite. These nice ladies are sooooo nice. Too nice. How am I supposed to improve my work if no one tells me what's wrong with it? Hint--if you're not getting published, maybe it's time to find a new critique group.

And I did find the perfect crit group. They tell me when I need to beef up certain sections that I breezed by too quickly. And they're nice enough to tell me when certain sections are definitely good ones.

What is it, specifically, that makes a good critter? Well, if you want good crits on your own work, you need to give good crits to other people in exchange [that's how the system works--join a group and everyone exchanges manuscripts]. A "Good" crit doesn't necessarily mean every comment you make is sugar candy. No. "Good" means "usable." Now this is difficult for some people to get into. Yes, it's okay to write on the paper. No, it is not okay to rewrite every sentence. If you think every sentence needs rewriting, then hand the manuscript back and say, "You need to rewrite every sentence because...." Maybe that person really is a terrible writer. [Direct that person to the nearest Creative Writing Workshop.] Maybe you just don't like that person's style. Style is very important to a writer. You keep yours, let the other person have his/her own style. The goal of being a "good" critter is not to change the other person's style, but to improve the style that person chooses to use. Read the story and really get into it. ONLY make comments on what would make that story and writing better. Sometimes I just put a smiley face in the margin, which means "Good Job!" Writers need a balance between positive and negative reinforcement in order to grow into Authors!

We need each other. And I'm very glad I found such a great group!

Friday, September 22, 2006

Dreams of the Future...

Hmm, according to a Cosmo Quiz http://quiz.ivillage.com/cosmogirl/tests/April2005-SecretPower.htm [that Connie tipped me off to], I'm a "Visionary" with "great intuition" and "excellent people skills" [hear that New York?!] and I should be working either as an "Editor-in-chief" or a "Foreign Ambassador" [heehee] --two jobs that I've always wanted. Since I only speak English, I'll aim for Editor. Hey, I'm half-way there already~!!! :)

Author Update

Yes, I'm back to writing SIXTH-FOCUS SEEKER and am making great progress toward finishing the first draft! No, I'm not working on my reviews--sorry folks, maybe in a week or two I'll get back on them. My muse is currently busy on a new story line--YES!--and I've spent more money than I meant to on research books [oh, but they're fun to read!]. At work I am severely overloaded with three HUGE projects that "must be done ASAP!" --sigh-- So my off-duty time swings between heavy productivity and none at all. It's been a rough summer and I'm not over it yet. Thank you, my friends, for being there for me--your attentiveness means more than you can imagine. :)

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

floppies are going out?!?

Okay, this is proof that I keep my nose too tight to the grindstone! I did not know until last weekend that floppies are going out.

My old laptop worked just fine for six years. Then the hinge broke, and my tech-guy said, "Can't be fixed." So I broke down and bought a new laptop [ooo, real sleek too: a Sony VAIO], only: "Where's the floppy go?" --I ask the salesman. He laughed in my face.

O-kay, so. This was a real challenge. Windows 98 on the old laptop couldn't identify the tiny new 2GB stick I bought, so I had to take the floppies to work and used the work computer to transfer all my old files, then took the 2GB home to get the old files onto the new laptop. Huh! What a world...:)