One of my critique partners started her comments with the words, “I hope you don’t think I’m being too harsh.” Harsh is good, so long as it’s not mean, and she hasn’t a mean bone in her body.* Harsh means you’ll see the error of your ways before an agent or editor does.
Her harsh words were that my mystery had lots of romance, but not enough mystery and the stakes had to be higher for the protagonists.** Boy, was she ever right. So I’m happily revising, and it’s so much fun.***
*It’s difficult for me to visualize a mean bone, or understand what’s so mean about it, but you get the point.
**I can never, never, ever remember how to spell this. Thank god for spellcheck.
***This is absolutely true. I am one of the six writers on earth who love revising
The original version of the YA novel I’m working on has no explicit, but a lot of very funny implicit sex. It is less sex-ridden than, say, any Simone Elkeles YA novel, but a little more than, say, the Jessica Darling series. So, I’ve decided I need two versions; one for agents/publishers who are more on the cautious side and one for those who…aren’t. Sort of like the director’s cut vs the final film. Maybe I could include a literary version of a ‘Blooper and Outtakes’ reel in the deluxe edition.
When I walked into Bump ‘N Grind* today I was greeted with a sea salt chocolate chip cookie with a candle in it, and excerpts from Happy Birthday. Someone told them, and it wasn’t me**
*for those of you who have been paying close attention, or any, this is my writing spot, and they make the best coffee in the world.
**Though I’m not above doing so if it gets me a free cookie.
The atmosphere at my favorite coffee spot was perfect today. It was quieter than usual, because it’s Good Friday. The music was nice and playing at a reasonable volume. Warm spring air wafted through the open doors. Then someone set a burrito on fire.
If you read my blog in its early days* you will remember that I shamelessly dissed writers conferences. I was wrong. End of story.
*I know you didn’t. Humor me.
will be by a very nice young editor. How do I know he’s nice? Tonight he sat around with the mere mortal writers and played a Harry Potter quiz game, which he won, and not because we let him. How do I know he’s young?* Well, duh.
*For the record, this means ‘under 40.’
So yesterday’s epiphany was courtesy of one of my critique partners, who suggested I put my protagonist/amateur sleuth in danger to create more tension in the story.* Of course, she’s right, and of course this creates several thousand continuity issues. Sigh
*I’m considering the possibility that she finds the character annoying and would like to bump her off.
The quiet car is a great place to nap on your way to NYC…unless the person behind you is snoring.
For the record, actors and musicians give the absolutely best most creative presents: personalized calendars, original poetry, song parodies, and lavish compliments. I think I will always throw an annual cast party, even if I’m not acting and directing anymore.
Laura Capasso is an excellent beta reader.* If I were a publisher I’d hire her. If I had lots of money I’d pay her. If I get published I’ll acknowledge her. When her novel is published I will write copious tweets, blog posts and Facebook posts.
*No, you can’t have her contact information. I just had to give Laura her props.