Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Crack the Whip

Seven days and counting until my next critique meeting.

This sounds like a lot of time, but isn't: critique partners should evaluate polished prose, not the last-minute scribbles of an over-committed novelist. Fact is, all novelists are over-committed. Most pen stories late at night after working the 9 to 5, attending to family duties then sucking down that third (or fourth) cup of coffee.

Full disclosure: I'm not one for nocturnal creativity. Early bird catches the worm and all that--my brain simply doesn't work late at night.

My schedule changes depending on where I am in a novel. During the first 100 pages, I write in the morning or the afternoon. After that? The characters become firmly entrenched in my life, demanding attention at all hours. I've been known to wake from a dead sleep at 4 AM to begin the work day because the murky pool of my subconscious has offered up a solution for a difficult scene. I've leapt out of a swimming pool at 8 AM to scramble for the pen and paper by my towel because the damn funniest dialogue appeared between the 12th lap and the 13th.

So now I'm on the count to next week's critique meeting, and I need to revise (yet again) a few chapters of Second Chance Grill.


You'll note the cover isn't done yet. For starters, the title and my name need to switch places. And the manuscript still needs a nice buff and polish before reaching the Amazon Kindle Store in June.

Next week, when I meet with Mary Ann and Ellen, I'll read another section then sit back as they perform jujutsu on the pages. I adore my critique partners. Wise, funny, insightful, they always find the missing characterization and gently suggest cuts to overlong passages. I don't want to disappoint them by offering lackluster pages for their review. It's time to get to work.

2 comments:

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