D.V. Sheppard

The web-log of a duck-herding author.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

In Which I Toot My Own Horn and Shame Myself :P

I was feeling a little triumphant. You see, I've been stuck on that scene and - I got some really good ideas and encouragement from all y'alls (has anyone every told you that you rock? Because you do) - so I got to utilizing some of those ideas. One thing that helped a lot was getting the Wombat in to help me.

Now, first, I should explain that I had this sort of dilemma. You see, the Wombat is an amazing sounding board and crit partner. He's helped me with a ton of stuff. However, I've been apprehensive since coming back to Book 1 and starting revisions, to have him read the book as I've changed it. I don't want him to get sick of it, or too... numb to it? So I haven't let him read the revised work.

But then I got stuck. I'm still unwilling to budge on having him read the new stuff because I'm saving him for a read through once I finish my first revision - I need him to be able to have a start-to-finish experience, because I know that he knows what I want the book to be, and he will be able to tell me if I pulled it off. However... it's been a long time since he originally read my book... you know, as I wrote it. So I had him read my un-revised scenes in and around the section I've been stuck in.

He gave me his thoughts, and we hammered out the problems, and I shared the changes I'd made that needed to be incorporated and we beat the new scene into submission. It feels much more plausible and I feel more hopeful about how the pacing will pan out.

.... yeah... not that amazing, D.V.
Hurray! I got it all rolling and it's fun again! Yay! When I feel happy about writing - I like to cheer myself on with stats. So here they are:

Words Revised: 27,304
Words Yet to be Revised: 95,754

Yeah, I know, there is still a long way to go - but, hey! 27,304 words! That's like almost 110 pages of a mass market paperback :D And those pages are a lot better than they were :)

Now, obviously I still have a ways to go -but thinking about the Wombat helping me with my book, made me start thinking about critique partners. I'm about to reveal how much of a hermit, or workaholic or something-lonely-and-anti-social but... I really only have one friend that writes - and rarely if ever in the same genre. She's real busy, though I expect when this puppy is done that she will be willing to be a beta reader. She's rockin' awesome like that.

D.V..... Seriously? Feet back on the ground.
But... that's kind of it... and well.... I don't know how to get more help. How do you find critique partners? Are you best asking people who write in your genre? I mean... asking someone who isn't a huge fan read your 500 page epic fantasy sounds just unkind... I'm probably whining more than anything... but frankly, I don't know how to help myself with this. Which is frustrating because... I'm actually a pretty dang good critique partner. I know I'm tooting my own horn here - but, I love to help people optimize their vision - and I'm good at it. It's been a hugely gratifying experience to help people in my writing class and to hear how much I've been able to help them. I'm pretty lame when it comes to the grammar and punctuation - but the vision, the pacing, the message - I can help people get those across. I know I exist, so I know others exist... but how do you find each other? How do you find those symbiotic, mutually beneficial partnerships?

Dear D.V.
Get a Grip
- Love, D.V.

I suppose step one is to not be a hermit, or workaholic or something-lonely-and-anti-social that toots their own horn. Maybe two good beta-readers will be enough : P

P.S. - If you haven't already checked out my Me-Casted Book page, you can look at hunky pictures of men and women that I imagine my characters to look like.


I found my a few critique partners through Ladies Who Critique. I found another one through a no-longer-existing website match-up. We weren't actually matched to each other, but she contacted me and things went well. Then I started my own critique group from a facebook group we created for NaNoWriMo. We meet in person, and we've all become pretty good friends. And I finally, I joined the Insecure Writer's Support Group Critique Circle facebook group. https://www.facebook.com/groups/IWSGCC/

Maybe you can try some of those approaches. Oh, and I'm willing to swap a few chapters if you wanted to see if we work out. ;)

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