Sunday, February 14, 2010

Crits - What Was Done Right!

February 14, 2010

Unfortunately, it's been a slow week for anything regarding my writing. I've been managing to work on 'Stephen's Boys', but that's about it. I'm persistent with the writing each day, but I need to be more aggressive with my submissions.

Had our Four Goddesses meeting on Thurs. and all four of us were there. Didn't get too much feedback, but they do seem to like the way I'm expanding 'Mama Played for the King'. Henri's crazy story about how he lost his leg that he told to his little niece and nephews was well received. So maybe I can find a couple more spots of capsulized info that I can expand on.

I volunteered for a Valentine's Day recognition dinner for a couple of current students attending Mohave Community College. Spent Thursday afternoon doing prep things, then Friday night making sure everything went well with the guests. Got to talk with folks about my books and why I write. It was fun. They had the current Phi Theta Kappa students doing clean-up work. Since I'm a PTK myself, it was nice to talk with some of the young folks. It was a fun time of my life and I hope those kids are having just as much fun.

Saturday was our book club meeting to discuss the books of James Patterson. He certainly is diverse in the types of books he puts out. And, I believe he is the first author that all members voted that we would read again. I read 'I, Alex Cross'. I do love his Cross crime stories, but this one started off with a bang, then just fizzled. Too much time spent with Nana that didn't add to the movement of the plot. Then, I felt he gave me a Grisham ending. He gave me some great characters, dialog and conflict, but his ending was too abrupt and too cliched. Oh, well, I should be making that much money!

Had a slow day today, so went over to the casino. As usual, it was fun, but not profitable.

I've been having talks with various writers lately about the value of pointing in our crit sessions as to why a story/essay/memoir/novel is good, along with explaining what needs fixing. Too often the better writers in the group have to be happy with 'It was good', but no discussion as to why it was good. Now that we are getting new members, especially the young ones, I think it would benefit them to hear why a piece worked. Like, the hook was effective, the pacing kept the reader's interest, the character expo clearly delineated their traits, or good show vs tell techniques were used. All these things, when they are pointed out, help the new writer see techniques that make their writing pop. Just a thought!

So, due to my lack of aggressiveness in submitting my work, I'm going to try to think more about this quote from Joseph Addison, an English essayist. "If you wish success in life, make perseverance your bosom friend, experience your wise counselor, caution your elder brother and hope your guardian genius."

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