Ramblings from the Desert

The man who trades freedom for security does not deserve nor will he ever receive either. ~Benjamin Franklin

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Location: New Mexico

Author of the urban fantasy novel, The Music of Chaos, and the paranormal romance, The Canvas Thief.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Spanish soaps and novel critiques

Testing, one, two, three.

First attempt at the blogging thing.

Started the morning in the usual way. Watched a spanish soap opera. This particular novela features an "interesting" main couple. A teacher and his teenage student. Of course the "girl" looks twenty-five, but I wonder how this would play with the English speaking set? Definitely has a Lolita feel to it.

It also is reminiscent of Japanese anime in that the girls all wear cute little uniforms--short skirts and knee-high white socks.

Then it was on to a shower and the business of writing.


I just plunked the short story "The Shapeshifter's Challenge" on the Critters Online Workshop queue. While it's Fantasy, you could say my romance roots are showing. (Clairol Colour 502, Gets the Romance Out.) I got a request from an agent for the first five pages of The Music of Chaos. I queried her via snail mail, but she got back via email. Which begs the question: "What did she do with my self-addressed, stamped envelope?" I want my stamp back! Hmmm. Oh, well. At least I can give myself credit for another successful query letter.

Next on the to-do list; send out the novel critique I just completed. This one was kind of fun. The protagonist was a snarky high school kid. I think it's the writer's first novel and suffers from the usual problems, but it was fun.

When I first joined Critters in 2003, I willingly took on several RFDRs (novel critiques). Since then, I've been more cautious.

One novel turned out to be a glorified religious tract. I don't mind a writer expressing their faith, but this writer gave no indication that this work was geared toward a Christian audience. I sort of suspect, the writer was being intentionally disingenuous, hoping to wins souls for Jesus and whatnot. It didn't work. I was annoyed and probably spent less time on the manuscript than I normally would have.

Some writers forget they asked for my opinion and get slightly huffy about my comments. (I'm always very gentle with critiques, so I haven't seriously pissed anyone off.) One writer took issue with my suggestion that he/she not use microscopic and/or sparkly fonts in the manuscript. Apparently, the notion of sticking to industry friendly (read, editor friendly) format upset this writer. Okie, dokie

Word of advice for anyone getting a critique. Critiques aren't meant to prop up your ego. And, yes, sometimes, the critiquer is waaay off base. But resist the urge to fire off an argument or even to state, "I don't agree with you." Say "Thank you," and move on.

P. K.


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