About a year and a half ago, after I took my first writing course (I came to writing late in life), the instructor suggested joining a writer’s workshop. Too timid and embarrassed to show my face to anyone who might read something I’ve written, I looked online. There’s a plethora of online writer’s workshops. I checked out a few. Joined a bunch of free ones. And eventually settled with using Critters (very well organized) and participating on the SFFWorld Writing Forum (just plain fun). I’ve learned a great deal from my fellow Critters and all the crazy folks over on SFFWorld (that’s a compliment coming from a delusional twit 😉 ).
During that first search, I came across sites that didn’t quite fit the critique/workshop/community of writers I was looking for, but that were still interesting. Like this one: FtQ – Flogging the Quill.
Ray Rhamey runs the site. A writer and editor, he provides editing services to writers. He’ll edit your crap for free as long as you let him flog your manuscript on his site, or you can pay him and he’ll do it privately. He writes himself, too. Of course. Don’t they all?
Anyway, it’s not exactly a critique site. He attacks your first page. That first page of your novel that agents and editors see, and immediately decide whether they are gonna read more – or not. It’s not for drafts. It’s not for half-finished novels. It’s for your polished manuscript that you think is ready to send out to agents and/or publishers.
I’ve followed FtQ for some time now and I’ve found Mr. Rhamey to be very fair, and he seems like a nice dude. I didn’t think I’d be in a position to submit something, but…well…I did!
I sent him my prologue (egad, yes, I have a prologue) and first chapter.
I know. I haven’t run my infant through Critters yet, but it has gone through five beta readers. Even so, I’m sure it is full of typos. If it’s not ready, why on earth did I submit? I don’t know. I’m stupid?
The thing is I am struggling with the edit on the second half of my novel. I wanted to have a full second draft before putting my baby in the cue over on Critters. But it’s taking so long, that I just need some…encouragement? No, that’s not the right word…a reason to prove folks wrong? Maybe. Who knows.
All I know is that I submitted, Mr. Rhamey acknowledged my submittal, and it’s coming up soon. If you happen to follow his blog/site and come across my first page, have mercy. 😮