"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, 'What! You too? I thought I was the only one.'" ~ C. S. Lewis

Monday, February 28, 2011


Sorry for my absence on the blogosphere this week. This cold attacked my head last Tuesday and it just doesn't seem to get the hint that I want it to go away! Usually I can kick a cold in a couple days, but ... this one is particularly stubborn.

But you didn't come over here to listen to me moan about my nose.

No! You came for some writerly stuff!

The critique last week went really well. I got a lot of super helpful feedback. And it was completely overwhelming.

I came home, stowed away the written responses, and proceeded to hide from my WIP for the rest of the week. Which meant that I basically didn't write anything, breaking my 100WAD pledge, which made me feel bad, but didn't keep me from making excuses.

Then, on Friday, I got a lovely e-mail from my CP. It's kind of creepy how Lindsey knew that I needed a kick in the pants. She totally didn't even mention the fact that I wasn't writing, but it was in the subtext (or maybe that was just me) and she oh-so-subtly reminded me that FEBRUARY ENDS ON MONDAY!

Which means it's time for us to exchange stuff again.


Now here's where it gets creepy cool and where I realized, once again, that Lindsey and I were practically designed to be CPs.

Lindsey told me that, based on comments she'd received from me and her sisters and on thinking and pondering she had done, she realized that the best thing to do would be to rework the beginning before she moves on.

At the SAME TIME I was realizing that, based on the fiction workshop critique and thinking and pondering I had done, I needed to rework the beginning before I move on much further.

Spooky, right?!

The biggest comment I received was that no one knew how old my main character was and that based on the first 2 pages, everyone thought they talked like middle school kids (I totally don't see that, but SO many people agreed. Which is the point of writer's groups, I guess - to see what you don't) but then thought the characters acted like they were in high school or college. So I need to establish their ages and characters first to show why they goof around and sometimes talk like middle schoolers.

I jump straight into the fantasy world, but the suggestion was made to establish the real world first, which would help to frame the characters and their lives, before we get to the castle and the faeries and the vampires.

so I've spent the last few days researching Germany and youth hostels and culinary schools and stuff.

Lesson: don't try to short cut. It doesn't work. I jumped right into fantasy world so I wouldn't have to do all this research. That was effective.

But the good thing is that I'm learning this NOW and now after I've rewritten the whole thing, so I can whack and fix and add and delete before I carry on and the story will be much better for it.

How about you? Ever had to change the beginning when you really wanted to just keep plugging away at the middle?


Melissa said...

Castles! Faeries! Vampires! Sounds like an awesome premise.

you and your CP sound like a great match.

Dangerous With a Pen said...

Hehehe... "Ever had to change the beginning when you really wanted to just keep plugging away at the middle?" UMMM. YES?

I totally heart you. And you are Crit Partner Awesomeness and I'm so glad no one else snatched you up first. Unless that sounds weird and stalkerish, in which case I'm totally ambivalent and it's not fate that we ended up as Cps. :)

And I hereby hand you a machete and an Indiana Jones hat (I have a pair too, they are a matching set) to whack the heck outta your beginning until you are left with the seed, and then a watering can to make that seed grow again. (But save all that stuff you whacked, because it will come in handy later when your story is ready for it!)

And now, I shall clink glasses with you and say "Cheers!" as we begin our new... um New New Adventures!

And Melissa is right, your premise IS awesome, and I also love the idea of establishing the reality first. Wish I had thought of it. :)

Chersti Nieveen said...

Yes!! That's exactly where I am right now. I really want to work at the middle and dig in, but I'm forcing myself to start from the beginning and work through it.So far, it's been really good. And I have to admit that I've been enjoying it!