cj Sez: This coming Wednesday is the 74 th remembrance of D-Day, June 6, 1944—the day Allied forces hit the beaches of Normandy in defense of freedom.
I remember especially an uncle who was injured on those bloody sands and a dear friend, who traveled with Patton and with whom I am privileged to be able to still connect. There are few of these World War II heroes still living today—I am honored to salute you and say, THANK YOU.
Do you critique?
Critiques are a must for serious writers. We’re way too close to our manuscripts, too subjective. Despite our best intentions, we can’t judge, proofread, or edit our own words, at least not thoroughly and objectively. We read past things, especially those sneaky gremlin misspellings. Sometimes the words we intended to write aren’t even on the page. Objective critique partners are able to find those missing words, poorly constructed sentences, punctuation errors, missing story threads, plot holes, and all the etceteras that the subjective writer misses.
It’s true that finding compatible critique partners can be hard, very hard. Shared likability and a mutual respect for expertise are required by/for/from each other. But your manuscript deserves/needs critiques, so connecting with a critique group is definitely worth the effort.
Your (and my own) role in a critique group is to remember the rules for critiquing. The most important one is: Be kind. Second: Find a way to start the critique with something positive. (Writers have fragile, creative egos, but you know that.) Third: Be truthful. It won’t help any writer if you praise something that is poorly written. I truly understand that no one likes to hear their baby manuscript is ugly, but speaking from experience, if we’re going to be successful writers, we have to develop a rhino hide in order to keep writing despite criticism—whether unwarranted or warranted—and despite the feared agent rejections.
I’m currently not connected to a critique group, and I can testify my writing has suffered. I desperately need the deadline of a critique group meeting to make myself write. I think my best option right now is to join an on-line group with Sisters-in-Crime/Guppies.
How about you? Do you critique on-line or in person? How often?
Okay, that’s it for today. You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same.
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I loved the way each chapter ended with a big “omigosh” moment that made it hard to put it down, just because I needed to find out what happens next. I suppose that’s the essence of suspense. Her style reminded me of Dan Brown, since he similarly keeps those chapter-to-chapter hooks going.
She obviously did a lot of research in several diverse fields to keep the details so wonderfully specific and accurate relative to weaponry, aeronautics, biology, astronomy, Japanese, and various secret government agencies and programs. Very impressive.
I can’t wait to see her next one.”