Tuesday, June 19, 2007

PMS and Writing Critiques

Yeah, that's right, I said it. I have PMS. They're probably going to revoke my membership in the feminist movement now. And since all things are clear when looking back, I hereby solemnly swear that I shall not put any of my writing up for critiques when I am nearing this lovely time of the month. Seriously, it's just a bad idea.

So many people have gone out of their way and taken a lot of time to go over the work I've submitted for scrutiny. It's not their fault I'm a neurotic on my best days and a raving psycho on my worst. The things they've said aren't mean, or nasty. They're not even wrong. But it still really hurts to hear two people say "Yeah, at this point, I lost interest." How can you lose interest? This is my baby, this is important, people! So, you spend the night crying and declaring that your days as a writer are over. Then, you get up in the morning, slap on the wrist braces, and go again.

I think, after living in this story for over three years, I'm just so attached. Every word, every phrase has been painstakingly chosen for certain effect, and to relay a specific bit of information. I mean, I spent twenty minutes yesterday agonizing over the word "shattered" versus the word "fractured". Giant chunks of extraneous text have been cut out recently, leaving me feeling scoured and raw, but overall happy with the result. To hear that even that isn't good enough is...discouraging.

Still, I think I need to continue with the rewrite. If I stop now, and obsess over the first chapter, I'll wind up with a stellar first chapter and no book. I heard an author say once that she (or was it a he? I can't recall) cut off the first two chapters of her book, and it was suddenly better. I don't know if that formula will work for me, but maybe by the time I get to the end of this monstrosity, something will occur to me that will.

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