Now’s Your Chance to Get Back at Me

Just a quick announcement, since I was feeling ill this week and didn’t get to write a proper Friday post.

If you want to get back at me for the picky comments I’ve been making on everyone’s books over at Goodreads, or if you thought one of my reviews was petty and opinionated (which it probably was), or if you’d just like to see me get taken down a notch, now’s your chance.

You can revel as Paula B picks over (i.e., “critiques”) part of From the Ashes of Courage on her “Slush Pile Workshop #3” podcast. It’s the romance snippet under the title “Gail Bishop.” I’m sure she was gentle, but I probably won’t be listening to it any time soon, because I’m such a big wimp. (Yeah, I can dish it out, but I can’t take it.)

So let me know how it went, eh? 🙂

-TimK

EDIT: Apparently, it wasn’t clear that I wrote the above tongue-in-cheek.

The real reasons I submitted the snippet to Paula’s show were (1) to support her podcast and (2) to perhaps get a little PR for me and my work. (I hope that doesn’t sound too mercenary.)

Truthfully, I’ve been wrestling with depression, and I need to keep my spirits up in order to make progress on my current writing projects. So if I delay listening to Paula’s comments, it’s just so that I don’t have to think about them right now.

I do hope to listen to them eventually, though. And even though I consider Paula my friend, because we’ve known each other online for years now, that doesn’t mean we’ll see eye-to-eye. She’ll probably be speaking from the viewpoint of a potential publisher or agent, going through the slush pile, and I don’t ever expect any of my current work to end up in a slush pile. (The reason why is a whole other conversation.) I also don’t really care right now about impressing publishers or agents, because I care about impressing certain, specific readers. (Yeah, I know; publishers and agents are supposed to know how to impress the readers, because they’re the experts. And if you truly believe that, I have a bridge to sell ya, goin’ cheap. Yet another whole other conversation.)

So when I listen to her comments, I’ll do so in the spirit of receiving a critique. I’ll compare her values to the characteristics that I admire in my favorite authors’ work, and if I think her suggestions would make for a better rendition of those characteristics, I’ll consider implementing them.

One more thought that came to me recently: I adore Holly Lisle’s novels. I adore even her early novels, which I can tell by reading them are less sophisticated than her more recent work. I adore her work, because she stresses in her writing many of the same characteristics that I want to see in what I read. And I subscribe to the advice, write what you would enjoy reading. Now, Holly does not read unpublished work by other writers, so I have no expectations that she’ll critique my work. But if she were to critique something I wrote, I would hang on every word, and I wouldn’t even feel bad about any criticism she would give me, because I look up to her in admiration. Now, I also look up to Paula in admiration, but not for her novels. So really any advice she—or an agent or editor—gives on my writing, I filter it through my own value system. They may or may not have a point.

(Last edited: May 2)

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Comments

Listen to it! You might get a little upset or hear things you think maybe you should’ve changed, but there’s a chance you’ll listen again and just disagree. I made a few mistakes with MC, sure, but I also had some critics who I just don’t agree with (those that have tried to diagnose me or presume I left out some sort of abuse b/c I wasn’t writing the typical victimhood memoir that many young women write-believe me, there have been a few). On the other hand, a few of my critiques pointed out errors on my part that I am now benefiting from as a writer-because I recognize them.

As a reviewer, I think you are fair with your evaluations… Then, I guess you gave me a five star review, so maybe I wouldn’t be so quick to say that had you given me a one star… Bias aside, your reviews seem wholly genuine and complete, and that’s what matters.

Even though I’m telling you to, I don’t think I’ll listen because I’m impressionable, and I don’t like to base judgment on others’ perceptions. But I’ll let you know after I read it… Based on your memoir, I’m looking forward to the book. After I read it, I’ll let you know what I think of the podcast.

Yeah, I know, Jen. I was kinda joking when I wrote the original post. See the edit above for more.

-TimK

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