Friday, May 13, 2011

Critiques, Revision Joys, and Secret Revealed

Revision joys. Now that’s an oxymoron!

I have three awesome critique partners and two great test readers. And as I read their suggestions and corrections, one thought comes to mind – maybe I should just stick to guitar playing for my creative outlet? No wait – I suck at that as well! Can one dig ditches creatively?

Anyone else feel like this?

However, as I go through detailed critiques pointing out overused words, wrong tense, and sucky dialog, there are moments when humor restores my sanity...

From Jeffrey at World of the Scribe -

“and that’s Senior Officer Byron to you…”“…the acronym from these words spell out S.O.B. It almost makes me want to retract those earlier comments I made about excessiveness.”

From Rusty at The Blutonian Death Egg -

“We’ll have to play when you’re not rusty then.”“Hey! That’s my name! Woo hoo! I’m in your book.”

Mevine all but inhaled his meal.“Go ahead. He inhaled it!”

Her brows furrowed…“Okay, I’m looking this up."
"It’s ten minutes later, thank you internet.”

“You deserve a prize if you are still reading my comments.”

And my critique partners and test readers deserve a prize if they’re still reading my manuscript!

What are your critique partners like? Hope everyone involved has a sense of humor!

Oh, and the secret? Remember the female lead I’m introducing opposite Byron? The mysterious, as of yet unnamed woman?

Her name is Athee.

Happy Friday the 13th everyone!

71 comments:

Budd said...

I guess blogger is back up. I don't think they had revision joys.

Stephen Tremp said...

Good luck with your Critique Club. Rusty's great. He'll be guest blogging this month on my site. Glad to have Blogger up and running again. I was getting the shakes.

Summer Ross said...

Great name! I love it. Makes her sound strong but still feminine.

Suze said...

Revision can sometimes be even more satisfying than the original writing process. Cleaning and tightening feels incredibly good when you know you've nailed it.

Kate said...

A good critique partner is like gold dust. :-) I treasure mine.

The Golden Eagle said...

I love her name!

Lindsay said...

Good luck with the revisions!

My CPs are awesome. I always dread the feedback (who doesn't), but I know it'll be spot on. And they do have some funny comment moments, too. I can't say how much I adore them! *hugs CPs tight*

Justine Dell said...

Nice name!

I don't think I could handle a crit without a little humor tossed in! My critters are great about that! Gotta have a sense of humor!

~JD

N. R. Williams said...

Good critique partners catch a lot and it looks like you've found some good ones. In my novella I learned that the voice isn't right, too much telling, that's a hard one since its first person and they didn't like the antagonist motives. I haven't actually opened the ms to read more. I always have to put it aside to regroup my thoughts and always the book turns out ten times better than if I simply published it without all the insight. Never give up, never surrender.
Nancy
N. R. Williams, The Treasures of Carmelidrium

M.J. Fifield said...

CPs with a sense of humor are the best.

Athee is a cool name.

Good luck with your revisions.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Budd, they definitely didn't have revision joys!

Stephen, I was feeling a little lost as well. And Rusty is awesome!

Lindsay and Justine, humor is needed.

Nancy, I dive right in because I know I'll be amused!

And thanks guys - glad you like the name. And glad Blogger is finally back!!!

welcome to my world of poetry said...

Glad Blogger returned.
Super reading your post als always.
Friday the 13th or not.

Enjoy your week-end.
Yvonne.

Anne Gallagher said...

Geez, I guess I better lighten up then. I also guess you haven't seen mine yet. Or have you....

Laura Eno said...

Very cool name!

Holly Ruggiero said...

Those are great comments. I would think it helps get though 'em.

Great name.

Ciara said...

I'm glad you found some great crit partners. Just one thing, tell them to hurry up because some of us are waiting to read it. :)

anthony stemke said...

Good critique partners are a treasure, humourous ones are funny.

When you feel like you really suck at guitar, pick up a ukelele, it will restore you (temporarily).

Best of luck and Thank You.

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

You've got lots of smart, witty folks on your side - as you deserve. Athee and you will come through this with flying colors.
xoRobyn

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Anne, got them this morning, and I'm sure you'll help me a lot!

Holly, it keeps me laughing.

Ciara, we're trying!

Anthony, I bet it will!

Thanks Robyn.

M Pax said...

R blogs be back. :D

Critique can make me feel like I'm losing my brain sometimes. It took time for my local group -- who I meet with in person -- to gel and learn to talk to each other.

Overall, they make me better and I'm so grateful for all the time and input they've given me.

Dafeenah said...

I must be a masochist because I LOVE critiques. I often feel I don't get enough of them on my writing. I would love someone to just tear me apart. gently of course.

Jennie Bailey said...

Those comments are hilarious! I love my crit partners. They keep me laughing. We're good at teasing each other...when I least expect it, I'll come to a funny comment. The Hubster, though...no funny comments, all business. "How did he know that?" "Was she weighted down? Because I didn't read the word "weights" anywhere and this is physically impossible without them." He helps every bit as much as they do. I love them all. Happy Friday the 13th! And I love the name Athee!!

Karen Lange said...

Love that - "revision joys". Well, maybe the most joy comes when the revisions are done.

Happy weekend!

Kelly said...

I'm taking a break from critiquing a friends ms to read this! And when I go back I will certainly look for overused words!
Have a great weekend, Alex!

Lynda R Young said...

Athee is a wonderful name! I love it.
Crit Partners are great and you gotta love it when they can make you laugh. It softens the blow ;)

Jeffrey Beesler said...

As a member of the Ninja army AND one of your critique partners, I refuse to let you quit at this. This story is an excellent tale that just needs a buff shine is all.

And I had better find that Senior Officer Byron (S.O.B.) line in the final draft because whether you meant to write it or not you have struck gold with it.

li said...

Nothing beats a sense of humour. I even had a reader laugh at something which was meant to be serious - opening my eyes to the fact that the passage was, perhaps, a tad too melodramatic. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Safer ah, I'm enjoying it as well!

Jennie, one of my test readers is like that - all business.

You too, Kelly! And the overused words are there somewhere. Or maybe it's just me...

Jeffrey, the SOB stays, I promise! So does the 'rusty.'

Li, one of my test readers did that!

Lydia K said...

I like Athee! Good choice.

I need more of a sense of humor during revisions.

Rusty Webb said...

Whew. When you said you were going to have some fun with me on your blog, I was afraid you were going to mock me for writing a thousand word rant about chemistry.

Seriously, you really do deserve a prize for reading it.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thanks, Lydia.

Rusty, keep up those long rants! Only way I'll survive.

L'Aussie said...

Hi Alex! My prescheduling didn't work like yours. You do have the magic touch, if not with your revisions.

So are you going to just tell us in dribs and drabs about this mysterious female lead - Athee, I like that. I hope you have a female CP partner amongst that lot!!!

My CPs are quite diplomatic but still succinct. It always hurts!!

Denise<3

Romantic Friday Writers Second Challenge - Lost.

Ellie said...

Athee is perfect. I can't wait to read the whole book.

Have a fab weekend!

Ellie Garratt

Rachna Chhabria said...

Like the name Athee, it sounds intriguing and slightly mysterious. I will tell you about my Critique partner after few days, as I will be sending her my MS next week. If she survives the torture long enough to send me her feedback, I will be grateful to God for it.

The Words Crafter said...

Love their humor. I looked up Athee and found a male version in Arabic. Atheer. It means high ranking, honorable. Coincidence? If so, a super cool one :) Hope you're having a great weekend and have fun with the revisions!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Denise, comes with being a Ninja I guess! And yes, one of my critique partners is a woman.

Rachna, I bet she likes it! Besides, she's one person - imagine when feedback comes from five.

Words, that's a good coiincidence then!

Jan Morrison said...

WhooHoo to funny crit partners! I got some comments the other day and some of them were funny too - just in the way that things are funny because you've left VITAL information out of the book and in your head. Like my cop not noticing a knife sticking in the back of the corpse on page one. ha ha.

Helen Ginger said...

In my head, I'm always pronouncing character names. Is that Athee (rhymes with Cathy) or Athee (accent on second syllable, as in Uh-thee)?

Embrace your readers. I mean it. Literally. All readers deserve hugs.

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Honestly, I always feel like a complete idiot when I get my crit back from my editors. Even though they're not trying to make me feel that way *at all*, I just look at all the mistakes I made and get flustered.

Old Kitty said...

I may not be able to dig ditches creatively but I do so beautifully - pedicured, bouffant-ed, manicured, and wearing the cutest pinkest stilletos. Ahem.

Hello Athee!! Hands off Bryon, I saw him first but I support you with lots of sisterly love too!

Take care
x

mshatch said...

both my crit partners have a sense of humor thankfully. LOVE the name of your girl, Athee; very original.

GigglesandGuns said...

Thanks for the chuckles.
Love the name! Looking forward to this book.

Mary Aalgaard said...

Thanks for sharing the fun of your critique group.

Sophie Li said...

Hi! I guess I'm the newest member of your army which apparently rocks! :)

Revision ... *shudders* I'm still finishing my ms but I'm already dreading the day of revisions to come.

-E- said...

i used to build climbing-access trails and there was a certain creative element to that.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Jan, that's major!

Helen, second one.

Kitty, do I sense a fight?

Sophie, welcome!

E, I'll keep that in mind!

Thanks, everyone - and glad you like the name!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I like the name. An original or did you make it up.
My critique fiends are without mercy. I think I'm too old to learn the guitar or dig ditches so I guess I'll listen to them.

WritingNut said...

Good luck with revisions... I love that name for the female lead :)

Tina said...

Those corrections just made me giggle! You do have great readers. I mean, I love praise like the next guy, but I'm trying to improve, and "great post" doesn't get me there...this is why my comment box encourages all opinions.
Tina @ Life is Good

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Susan, you're funny! And I made the name up years ago.

Tina, my partners are honest and truthful - and closet comedians as well!

Rebecca Kiel said...

I have three great critique partners/readers. One is very good at gut reaction, another a grammar queen and the last able to see the big picture in a way I cannot. I have to remember not to call them in too early, but when I do, I am thankful for such dedicated friends.

Leovi said...

I believe that humor is the best indication of the existence of intelligence.

Cheeseboy said...

Ah crap. Now I gotta go out and find myself a critique partner. Are yours busy?

Ella said...

Thanks for commenting; it is now missing in blogsphere. I appreciated your comment~

I love the female's name; it is work to get it right. Take a deep breath, pop some Hot Tamales and try again, tomorrow. You need an art date, music fest or a movie marathon. Snap out of it Captain...it is part of the process. Doubt leeches in as the creative process unfolds; it is in the Writer's Log! You need a Ninja
kick in the rear! ;-D

Chuck said...

I love the hidden SOB comment. Some people can be so picky. Can't wait to read the new book Alex. How are we pronouncing the female lead...At-hee or Ath-ee? Or maybe A-thee.

Elizabeth Mueller said...

Alex, great name! Did you find it over at the name site with space names? ;)

Can Alex save Winter from the darkness that hunts her?
YA Paranormal Romance Darkspell coming fall of 2011!

♥.•*¨Elizabeth¨*•.♥
www.authorelizabethmueller.com
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Talli Roland said...

SOB! Ha!

My CP is hilarious. She once told me that if I used another exclamation mark, God would punch a kitten.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Rebecca, my partners all see something different as well.

Leovi, I like that!

Cheeseboy, back off man!

Ella, I think you just gave me one!!

Chuck, last one. And I'm working on it!

Elizabeth, no it's from an original idea years ago.

Talli, now that's funny! Crap, there goes a kitten.

The Old Silly said...

The only way to survive honest critiques by honest critiquers (is that a word? - no - critics, I think, lol) is to have a good sense of humour aaaaannd - very thick skin! - which I can tell you have both (wink)

I call them DHR's (Designated Honet Readers) and yes, I have three of them - who I have given permission to (and made them promise me to) disregard any feeling of friend or kinship and give it to me straight!

Can be brutal, but it sure helps any author to hone his or her craft, hm? Even the King, Stephen, runs his ms's by his wife who he says is his biggest critic.

Marvin D Wilson

GYPSYWOMAN said...

too funny!!! love the little snippets of revision joy! something i can look forward to, i see - although revision is really not my thing! [a leo - a true died in the wool leo!] - but moreover, critique is not my thing - negative critique, that is! - hmmmmmm..........wonder what other things i might look at besides writing - and painting - and......
;)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Marvin, they're honest but not brutal.

Gypsy, not sure what I'll do when it's my turn to critique.

Carol Kilgore said...

I'm finally here! Love 'Athee'. Aren't CP's wonderful? I don't know what I'd do without mine. Be very embarrassed for starters.

Ella said...

Arlee; Athee I see a link ;-D

Jemi Fraser said...

Athee is a good name!!

The SOB line cracked me up! :)

I've got great crit buddies too - thankfully their senses of humour are well honed - it helps!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thanks, Carol.

Ella, no connection, I promise!

Thanks Jemi and glad my partners could amuse you as well.

Sand Castles and Snow Forts said...

One of my CPs actually prints off what I give her, takes it to her couch with her coffee, and wades through each sentence with her chosen weapon of a red ink pen.

I had a CP tell me my characters sure laughed and smiled a lot!

RaShelle said...

Alex - Love the name Athee. Sounds sexy and kickass cool!

Patricia Lynne said...

I think I'm in the same boat as you when it comes to revisions. Sometimes I look at my critique partners' suggestions and they make the wall look nice and soft! lol Then I come across a sentence my partner loved and I grin like an idiot.

All in all, it's a bit of a roller coaster... which reminds me I have a blog post about that to write.

Jamie Burch said...

Great name, Alex! I enjoyed reading the critique quotes. Too funny!

Good luck with getting through your revisions. You can do it! You have to because readers like me want to know what's next for Byron. :)

Patricia Stoltey said...

My critique group pals (two men and three women) are tough and supportive and funny. At least once for every critique a member will point out an "outrage"...I love this group and don't know what I'd do without them.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sand Castles, I was told the same thing...

Thanks, RaShelle!

Patricia, I had a few grinning moments as well.

Jamie, oh won't you be surprised!