Talked off the ledge

Image by Steve B from Pixabay

Today I salute my friend Laura who talked me off an editorial ledge. After I sent some angry, frustrated texts, she called and listened to my rant. Then wise Laura offered some very good suggestions for moving forward and I will be implementing her ideas when I get back to work. Which won’t be until Monday.

Because right now it’s the weekend and I refuse to spend any more time and energy on this project.

Knowing when to pivot

I was all ready to blog about how I’d received feedback on the latest draft of my middle-grade manuscript along with a suggestion on how to address a core problem. It was going to be a blog post about trusting my gut, in that the revision suggestion had initially resonated with me but after further thought I knew it was all wrong. The post’s title was a straight-forward “Trusting my gut.”

I wrote a few words and went off in search of “gut” images. Nothing. I searched “belly” and came up with a slew of pregnant bellies which I nixed because I didn’t want to sound a pregnancy alarm. “Stomach” and “tummy” brought more pregnant women pics.

And then I searched for “chubby baby” and came across this:

I’m trusting my gut that this image is what I was looking for all along.

Artist or criminal?

I’m sifting through the feedback I received from my critique group. Most everything offered either resonated with me right away (YES! That change is a must!) or fell flat on delivery (NOPE! That misses the point and/or is unnecesssary and/or etc). Those are the easy critique points. However, I’ve also got some tough calls to make, and those are now simmering in my middle mind.  Should I expand the mystery element of the story? Does X, Y, Z happen?  I’m hoping my middle mind has answers for me in the very near future.

In the meanwhile, I’m reveling in some of the truly messed-up things that happen in this book. Lest you think I’m alone in this kind of thinking:

Personally, I see little distinction between an artistic mentality and criminality.
You couldn’t possibly create a compelling story without some wickedness
or some fascination with the disgusting.
Being good is a hindrance to a writer.
~ Russell Smith

cremation ashes

Can I get an amen?

Thankful Thursday: Writing Roosters edition

Last night I met with my critique group, The Writing Roosters. (Yes, we’re aware that it’s funny for a membership of six women and zero men to be roosters.)

Our mascot that oversees every meeting.

It was my turn to receive a critique and the group didn’t disappoint. I’m grateful for their willingness to point out holes and weak characterization and plotting improbabilities in my novel, and also to let me know what they felt I’d done well. It was my first draft and I now have a pretty firm grasp on how to revise.

I received lots of guidance last night, but want to give a special shout-out to Claudia Mills for using Track Changes/Comments a whopping 429 times! Thank you for getting down and dirty with my manuscript, friend!

 

Steve Holt!

I spent the day reading and critiquing a writing friend’s middle-grade manuscript, and just hit SEND.

There’s only one man on the planet who truly understands how pumped I am right now, and that man be Steve Holt!

 

Literary Treasure

I’m doing a middle-grade critique for a friend
and am carefully sifting through his words to help find the treasure within.


image from morguefile.com

Entrusting our work to others takes such an enormous leap of faith, you know?

Revising in Circles

My awesome new critique partner read the first seven chapters of my book
last week along with chapter summaries of the remainder.
He was the first person to read this new project.

Waiting for his response was flutter-inducing,
and when it came, it was like an AHA! explosion in my head
because he put into words stuff that’d been simmering in the dim regions of my consciousness.

So now I’m reworking the opening of my story – again.
Revising chapters just a week ago I thought were grand while
battling feelings I’m not making any progress
because
I
keep
circling
back
to
the
beginning.

But when I went to morguefile.com and put “circle” into the search,
this is what jumped out at me:

So, hey! It’s cool I’m back at the beginning! (okay, maybe “cool” is a stretch).
However, it IS completely truthful to say this circling back represents
an opportunity to create a stronger core.

Today I am weaving words I hope will sustain those that follow.

Revising in Circles

     

My awesome new critique partner read the first seven chapters of my book
last week along with chapter summaries of the remainder.
He was the first person to read this new project.

Waiting for his response was flutter-inducing,
and when it came, it was like an AHA! explosion in my head
because he put into words stuff that'd been simmering in the dim regions of my consciousness.

So now I'm reworking the opening of my story – again.
Revising chapters just a week ago I thought were grand while
battling feelings I'm not making any progress
because
I
keep
circling
back
to
the
beginning.

But when I went to morguefile.com and put "circle" into the search,
this is what jumped out at me:

So, hey!  It's cool I'm back at the beginning! (okay, maybe "cool" is a stretch).
However, it IS completely truthful to say this circling back represents
an opportunity to create a stronger core.

Today I am weaving words I hope will sustain those that follow.
 
                      

Bird Brain in Gear!

            

Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend.
It was lovely here and we had many feathered visitors.


                                                 © Tracy Abell 2010 

I’ve received helpful feedback on BIRD BRAIN
and am madly revising.  The book is already so much stronger!

Hugs and smooches to  ,  , and [info]lorrainemt!
You guys are the very best.  

So I’m headed back into the revision cave,
but wanted to extend wishes for a glorious Monday filled with
happy writing and maybe a bird friend or two.
                

What, Me Worry?

        
            

Last Friday I sent BIRD BRAIN to the four generous souls who
offered to read and critique my manuscript.
It’s much, much too soon to expect responses, but that hasn’t stopped 
my mind from turning into a writhing nest of worries and fears.

AGNES by Tony Cochran

Maybe I’ll just get it over with and go put underpants on my feet.