Ah…crits

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That ‘crit’ in the title should be said like a swear word: Aaaah, shit.

Today my novel (first novel, if you don’t know) came up in the critique queue over on Critters.

And, believe it or not, though it’s only been less than 24 hours since the manuscript got delivered by the Critter Captain’s minions, I got a review back.

It was short, but not very sweet.

Would you like to read it?

STOP.

WTF?

I can take this three ways:

  1. The reviewer obviously didn’t read my prologue and first chapter.  No, she’s just a new member that doesn’t understand that once you join Critters, each Wednesday your inbox is inundated by bright, shiny new stories ready to be read.  If you don’t have your Critter settings set correctly, you can end up with quite a handful.  She just didn’t realize what was going on and instinctively wrote back to each and every one of us to STOP spamming her inbox.  Silly, new member…
  2. Wait.  Maybe she did read it.  Or start to, and found it so repulsive (or funny?) that she just couldn’t help herself and dashed off her one word crit: STOP!
  3. Or…it’s a mystery that will never be solved.  I could email her back, but then that would just be embarrassing.

Critters.  Hit or miss.  I suppose if that’s the only crit I get, I’ll just have to turn to my last resort: my husband.  He hates just about everything I write, but at least I’ll get a longer response.  I hope.

Remember, crit early and crit often! 🙂

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15 thoughts on “Ah…crits

    1. That’s a nice thought! No, I really do think she just didn’t know what was going on. I’m sure she was at her wit’s end, “Why am I getting all these emails! From complete strangers!” Poor thing…

  1. Why does your husband hate what you write? I love your works! I am very sorry that you do not have a support system for your works. It will help when you get stuff like “STOP.” Becuase there will always be those kiind of people. Remember how many people hate “Harry Potter.” But with that kind of publicity I could handle it (I think).

    1. It’s nothing personal. He does like historical fiction, but anything with a hint of fantasy puts him off. It has more to do with the genre than my writing. At least, that’s what I tell myself. 😉

      And he is very supportive. Every time I say I’m just gonna quit this madness, he keeps me on track. 🙂

  2. Ack. Mistake or no, that couldn’t have been a pleasant thing to read. My heart kind of flopped over like a dying trout when I saw it, and it wasn’t sent to me.

    Re: support network — do you belong to a local writing group at all? I did when I lived in Nashville (I actually created a sub-group of Fantasy/Paranormal/Sci-Fi/Spec Fic writers because there were so many of us), and it was such an awesome environment with people all over the spectrum of goals and where they were in the process. I have one here, but it meets on my only day off about an hour and a half from where I live and I haven’t gone in ages. :/

    1. No, I’m not involved in a local writer’s group. Two reasons: 1) I work full time and once I get home, I’m not leaving; and 2) All the groups I’ve found so far immediately in the area are literary and only traditionally published writers are welcomed.

      I did meet a few local genre writers at BayCon, but they live about an hour south of San Francisco, and I’m an hour north of S.F.

      I’m sure there’s a group in Santa Rosa, but I haven’t found them yet. Of course, I haven’t tried that hard either. My husband suggested taking a class at the local community college, where I would, no doubt, meet the local, genre writers. That might be my next step.

      Thanks, Emmie, for your support. 🙂

      1. Hoo, doggies, your first reason feels like me in a box. I’m the same way — I work long, weird hours, and I get jealous of my home time.

        Meetup.com often has localized writing groups. That’s where I found the Nashville Writers Meetup. The first couple meetups I went to were frankly very snobby — literary fiction, not all (or even most) published writers, but a lot of them had a chicken bone in their throat about fantasy. If you’re interested in finding a group, that might be a good place to start.

        Also, if you are looking for crits and you’d feel comfortable, I’d be happy to read your work. Just let me know.

      1. Thanks, and yes, I do need a local writer’s group. The internet can be unreliable, but it is awfully convenient. I actually did get a reader today. I lovely writer name JoAnne O’Dell. She’s agreed to read and crit it. I just thought it was funny the my first crit back was STOP! It really did make me stop and think. Maybe that was the intention? Who knows. Thanks again for stopping by. 🙂

  3. Writer’s groups come with their own problems though.

    From personal experience I have found them clique-y. If they don’t like your genre or subject matter, they can’t put personal feelings aside and focus on the quality of writing.

    There will also be a group favourite “he or she who must not be challenged”.

    But that’s just me. If you do go looking for a group I hope you have better luck than I did!

  4. I don’t give advice as a rule, though I tend to be a critical reader in spite of myself. I’ve written a number of novels and decided early on that I wouldn’t put anything forward to be read by anyone until I had a complete first draft, if then. If I did give advice I suppose that would be it. I’d suggest never beginning editing until the first draft, about 100,000 words, is complete enough to begin cutting it down to maybe 25,000 words, rebuilding, re-arranging, rewriting.

    But I’m not going to suggest it.

    1. Excellent advice! I did show my first draft to folks and I do regret it. I’m on the fifth draft now and still learning about all the things I do wrong. I’m holding out till the 10th draft – then it’s done!

      Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

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