The Glorious Mess of Paper

Just popping in while I do some other work. Mostly mended, and while I have a small rattle in my chest as the cold tries to migrate south from my sinuses to the fertile grounds of my lungs, I’m able to do normal(ish) things again. Huzzah!

Today it’s catch-up day. Want to at least get my 1,000 words in on the BLOOD OF WOLVES rewrite, type in all those character notes I have on paper, and finish off my first critique for the Online Writers Workshop.

I received a fantastic critique on my piece ALL THE WAY, including a key structural DUH that the reader offered up that makes me all excited and wanting to go back to the piece. Besides trying to go for 4 critiques a month, I’m also trying to make sure I crit-for-crit (s’only fair) so I am in the middle of doing one of her pieces. (It’s very cool, but part 1 only. I need part 2!!)

What’s been frustrating in an amusing sort of way is how much I rely on pen and paper when I critique. Seriously! When our face-to-face group meets, I turn in a sheet covered with pen marks. Depending on the piece, sometimes it’s line editing and sometimes it’s not. I mark passages I really like, put question marks or circle passages that confuse me. I also write questions along the way, asking for clarifications or noting implications. If later these get answered, I scribble them out. At the end I write a long note about the major points, good and bad. In the end, it’s like a recording you can “play” by reading it, of what I thought when.

With the OWW boards, not so much. Stories are posted in a block, and then replies are posted. What I’m doing (besides floundering and wondering if it will be a good enough critique) is going back and forth between pen and paper to the left of my computer and a Word document to compose the critique for posting. Hopefully I’ll have something useful for her when I’m done, instead of the hot mess I currently have.

Also, today is the launch of Laurie R. King’s Beekeeping for Beginners, an e-book (short story) retelling the tale of when Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes first met, but from Holmes’s perspective. King has been offering up more of Holmes’s POV in later books and as much as I love Russell herself, getting inside the great detective’s head has been fun! Go buy it! (Or start with the first in the series, if you haven’t yet tried them, called The Beekeeper’s Apprentice. Great series.)


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