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Authors Can Be Snippy And Petty

January 20, 2012 Leave a comment

One thing all authors should do is get feedback on their work. But, I will be honest with you, other authors can be one of the worst sources for feedback. I don’t know if they do it on purpose or subliminally, but I suspect it is a little of both when they give petty and meaningless critiques.

Not all are like this. Thank God!

But when I submitted one of my recent works to a group of fellow writers for critiquing, I got to experience those that are so shallow. One fellow author offered me no real critique of my work but instead insisted, repeatedly, that I was telling the story from the wrong point of view. When another author chimed in and told him he was being ridiculous in his critique and that the POV was fine, he began insisting that I use certain other words instead of the words I had chosen in a seemingly random fashion. Another author called that “silly”, saying that there was nothing inherently wrong with my word choices which were now under criticism.

After the whole event I learned that the noisy, other author critic was someone who was getting very bitter at not having been published in nearly a decade of trying. He often tries to change other authors into himself in terms of style. His style is not bad. But it just is not me.

Thankfully though the whole experience did yield some positive things that I was able to take away from it. But one thing I definitely learned is that other authors are not always good sources of critique.

“Under The Darkened Moon” Pacing

December 1, 2011 Leave a comment

I’ve been working on my novel “Under the Darkened Moon”, a sequel, if you will, to my short story “Second Chances”. Having completed the first draft, I am now editing it.

I have been having trouble getting the timing down and pacing the start of the story. While there was action early on, things seemed slow and I, as the author, was getting bored. If I am getting bored by the pace, I worry that the reader would have the same experience.

One thing that seemed to stand out was that the slowness seemed to stem from the length of the chapters, about 20-30 pages. They were that size because I was clustering events and scenes that happened within a day of each other as entire chapters separated by scene changes denoted by “* * *” breaks.

So, chapter 1 for example, consisted of three scene changes, the day the story starts, the next day’s morning then that next day’s evening. Chapter two then picked up three days later. I have, right now, split the first chapter into two completely different chapters so that now chapter 1 is the day the story begins and chapter 2 is the next day’s morning with a scene change to that evening. Chapter 2, or at least the start thereof, now is chapter 3.

By doing this, and maybe I am just fooling myself into thinking this, the story seems to move better and flow faster and smoother with shorter chapters. It is almost like the white space that follows the end of one chapter before the next chapter starts on the next page, despite being a break, causes everything to sound better.

Don’t know if I will continue down this path, but it seems to be working and the story seems more energetic and fluid.