Wednesday, May 5, 2010

In Which I Received (3) Critiques

I know I mentioned a few days (weeks?) ago that I won Chimera Critique's first contest. The prize was a gift card (which I spent on Karin Lowachee's Gaslight Dogs and World War Z and promptly added them to my TBR pile (Karin Lowachee goes to the top though. OOH I hope it's half as good as War Child)). The secondary prize was a first chapter critique, which was awesome.



I did a quick line edit (super quick, just looked for passive voice, typos (of which there were many) easy to fix adverbs and adjectives etc)(also Palindrome and Teebore took a quick look as well) and then sent if off.

Then I hit my funk (which has now mostly cleared, which is good). They said it would take about two weeks but I got the first (of three) crits back in less than a week. How awesome is that?
I peeked at it and then promptly stashed it away.

Note to self: do not look at crits while in a foul mood. It will not help.

I knew I needed to sit on it to try and get some emotional distance. I planned on giving it 4-5 days but instead (after I had written my post about my funk) I decided to suck up and brave it.

As it turns out, reading the firs crit cured my funk immediately. I wish I had known that. I felt a little silly the next day reading about my funk when it had more or less gone away.

The crit contained a line edit (which looked terrible because as I've mentioned in the past I need around 3-4 line edits so 1 didn't cut it) But what was even better than the line edits (which were very helpful, don't get me wrong. They caught a few things I most likely wouldn't have noticed on my own) were the overall feedback paragraphs. What they liked, what they thought needed work.

They clarified a few things that I had questioned myself. For example, everyone loves MC Quill (I do too. She was really fun to write) but people don't love MC Fox as much, which is the pits because he's like THE MC. But I had already suspected that Fox needed some work and had come to a few conclusions how to zazz him up.

Also they helped clarify where they thought the hook was (it was where I suspected) and therefore helped me come to terms with a better way to start off.

Overall I was very very pleased with the crit.

If you're looking for a crit yourself, you should give them a try.

So now I feel like I'm back on track with the revisions. Let's hope I stay there.

27 comments:

Matthew Rush said...

That's great Sarah, even though it's probably hard to face it sounds like it's much better to have concrete direction.

I'm still working on a re-write but I will have to try this out after.

DL Hammons said...

Great new about the critique! Here's hoping that you continue along your FUNK-FREE zone. :)

Falen said...

Mathew - ther very idea of doing a re-write freaks me out a bit. It's probably why i'm not a pantser. So i can avoid re-writes

DL - So far the funk-free zone is going strong!

Jaydee Morgan said...

I'm glad you the critique helped you see things hidden and known. Feedback (no matter how scary or cutting at first) is so valuable.

Good luck with the rest of your revisions!

Roni @ FictionGroupie said...

Glad you were able to get something out of the crit and that you moved past that funk. :)

Tara said...

Excellent! The nerves of reading the critique are what get to me. Once I've done it, I always feel better cause now I know what works and what doesn't.

Always nice to be out of a funk :)

word ver: rever - is that what Scooby Doo gets when he's sick?

Piedmont Writer said...

That fantastic news about your crits. I love it when they're not as bad as you thought. Or at least you take the news better than you thought.

Christine Danek said...

Glad you are out of your funk. These gals at Chimera are great. They did a critique for me and it helped me so much.
Good luck on your revisions.

Summer said...

Wow, that sounds great! Now it's full speed ahead, huh?

Janel said...

Cheers to being in the Funk-Less Zone! Glad to see the critique went well. :)

Alexandra Shostak said...

So glad you liked your critique! I had a moment like that, once, too. I took a group voice class, and during our in-class performances, everyone would write up critiques of the person doing the performance, so we'd leave class with a handful of comment cards. I didn't want to read mine because I was having an awful day, but I sucked it up and they were all very encouraging, and it actually made me better. So I know how you feel and I'm so glad!

Also, sounds like we're in revisioncavehell together. Bah. But I see you're reading A Game of Thrones! I read that a couple years ago, and I was blown away (though it's so long, I have no desire to ever read it again.) Let me know what you think!

Palindrome said...

now why I know why it takes me so long to finish. I'm dreading the rewrite. But I think the feeling of accomplishment will overshadow my dislike of editing.

Southpaw said...

Good news on the review. It seem like it was helpful (but so scary).

Erica Mitchell-Spickard said...

Hi Sarah!
Erica here from Chimera. Thank you so much for allowing us on your blog. We really do appreciate it. More importantly we hope the critiques helped. I'm so glad you are out of the "funk". I hate when that happens.
But like you mentioned sometimes new eyes are what's needed. Many times that new set of non-glazed eyes has helped me out of my own funk.
Again thank your for you're kind words. We will be having another contest soon and we would love for you to continue to visit our site, join the forum and for us to get the chance to get to know you better! I just realized how long that sentence was...lol.
Oh! BTW you'll totally rock out those edits! =D

Elana Johnson said...

I'm so glad you're out of your funk. And can I just say that I'm totally stealing the word "zazz." It makes me smile.

Falen said...

Thanks everyone!

Alexandra - i actually have a post on Game Of Thrones tomorrow!

Palindrome - i don't mind mild revisions, but i think hate huge revisions so much that i stopped being a pantser so i could avoid it

Erica - thanks again!

Elana - we love the word "zazz" here. It actually come from an episode of Metalocalypse where they use it constantly.

Angie Paxton said...

Is it funny how a good critique can clear away the fog of a funk? You'd think it would be the opposite. I'm glad they gave you some good feedback and a new lease on your writing.

Talli Roland said...

Sounds like it was really useful! Sometimes it's so nice to have guidance. It usually cures my funk! Can't wait to hear how the rewrite goes.

Teebore said...

Oh, I'm excited to see what you do to zazz up Fox.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Silly Falen, don't wait next time! And if it is bad, then you can stash away until later.

SonshineMusic i.e. Rebecca T. said...

Glad your funk is gone! Yeah for helpful critiquing!

Joan Crawford said...

Yay - I am glad you are getting out of your funk and that the Big Bad Crit was actually not too bad :D

Lola Sharp said...

I'm so happy that you are funk-free and back into your revisions. :)

Crits are a GOOD thing, ALWAYS.

Zellie Blake said...

Thanks so much! It's really good to hear that the overviews helped you. We worry sometimes about doing the critiques justice since we just get one shot but at the same time we don't want to overwhelm people with suggestions!

It does suck to read crits while in a funk... I've LOVED getting to have live meetings with the other CC members because you get to hear that positive vocal tone to smooth out the edges ;) I still tend to put aside the detail part of the crits for a few days. Takes time to absorb and sometimes come to terms with things. Especially for my first chapter of Lightning Spliced...oh man, I had that thing under the knife and every time I thought maybe I improved it, it still wasn't working for people. It literally took years to get it right but now I'm proud of all that work ^_^

Best of luck with your editing!

Lydia Kang said...

Those funks are such downers, but I'm glad to hear you're out of it! Good luck with the revision!

Rebecca @ Diary of a Virgin Novelist said...

I am always so scared and nervous about crits, but time and time again they end up energizing me.

I'm glad you got good feedback! That is excellent.

AchingHope said...

Yay for getting out of funks!! :)

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