Saturday, April 16, 2011

Love Notes and Writing Critiques

When author Maggie Stiefvater posted a writing critique partner loooove connection on her blog the other day, I thought, "Too bad I'm not done with my revision. This would have been a good opportunity to meet other writers and receive unbiased feedback on my story."

And then I thought, "Stop being a big fat baby, Marisa. Your first 50 pages of this draft are ready to go and that's all you're supposed to share anyway. You're really just scared that the only people who like your book are your friends - who only tell you they think your story is good because they like you too much to watch you fling yourself off a cliff." *note: I will not fling myself off a cliff.

And then I thought, "Yeah, that's true. And life is all about taking chances. Besides how else will this story get better? Let's do this thing." So I held my breath and posted an ad. My mind has been whirling ever since.

In the last week, I've read some great manuscripts by other writers - stories that I'm excited to watch these writers grow into something so amazing they get agents and book deals and I'll stand in a long, long line to get my copy signed.

I've also received critiques that have renewed my faith in the beast that has consumed my life for the last year and a half. (Not to mention a critique in which the reader did not like one. single. thing about my book. Ouch.) And though the critiques have been at times overwhelming, I'm relieved to have feedback I connect with and direction for making my story even better.

I know my kids have been picking up on my stress this week. Gracie has been slipping me more love notes with big fat kisses on them than usual.

How much do I love my kids? There aren't enough words in the world to answer that question.

Enjoy your weekend, folks! I'm going to be drinking lots of coffee, listening to lots of music, going on lots of walks with the girls to feed my muse, all the while thinking long and hard on how to tame my beast of a book.

It's going to be a great weekend!



A. McBay said...

Wow, M. It takes a lot to put your book out there like that. Our books are like peices of ourselves and its scary to sit and watch someone crit it to pieces. I'm far from being that brave. I think ill let my freinds and family feed my ego a bit longer before its time to take that plunge. As for your story I'm sure the crits will take it to new levels and agents will be flooding your inbox ;)

Meeling said...

Good for you, putting your "baby" out there like that...that's tough. Glad to know that you're receiving feedback...sometimes it's good to have those unbiased fresh eyes look at things.

Don't you just love those little notes from our 12 year old still slides them under our bedroom in the early morning hours...always makes me smile!

Laura Pauling said...

That was extremely courageous of you! Srsly. And if someone doesn't like anything, you can usually scrap it. Some writers just might not connect. That's so sweet your daughter picked up on your stress!

mshatch said...

congrats on putting yourself out there, Marisa. There's nothing like a good partner.

Amie Kaufman said...

Oh, that note is so, so precious. Hope it's a great weekend!

Kearsie said...

My main thought reading this post is:

Why can't I have big juicy lips like this?

Also, you're awesome.

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

What a cool idea! But man, takes guts to do what you do. You have so much to be proud of. It's a great sign you belong in this business, you know? Because it takes serious courage to put your book into the hands of readers.

AlyGatr said...

I'm proud of you :) Now finish it! I'm so pushy, aren't I? Wow, I never get notes with big fat kisses on them!

Melissa said...

Someone read your work and didn't like one single thing about it? Wow. That's really hard to believe. For a rough draft, you're off to a good start. Believe me. :-D

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