Critiques are like choking in a restaurant

Critiques are like choking in a restaurant

Yesterday I was listening to Episode 1 of Mary Kole’s Good Story Podcast, and Chris Baty (creator of NaNoWriMo) shared an analogy that really stuck with me.

Turns out, when someone in a restaurant chokes, their immediate reaction tends to be to run to the privacy of the nearest restroom. This is, of course, the worst thing you can do. Heaven forbid one be a bother and disrupt the meals of others for your life-threatening emergency, right? So embarrassing.

Chris compared this to writing, saying that he thinks writers have that same impulse to flee right when they need someone the most. They write and edit in isolation, locking themselves away from any possible help. That’s one of the reasons he started NaNo – to help create a system of support and accountability for writers.

What do you do when something bad happens, and you desperately need help? Do you seek help out? Or do you flee toward sweet, sweet isolation (and suffering)?

I’ve been working on edits for The Stonecrafters, and at the same time am planning Book 2 (Yet to be Named). And part of me wants to grip my manuscript and ideas like they’re my Precious and hiss at anyone who wants to peek. But I’m not. The Stonecrafters is with an Author Accelerator coach and has promised my editorial letter and feedback by tomorrow. TOMORROW.

At which point I will flee to the nearest restroom, choking.

Rosie is my harshest critic.

I have news

It’s only been a week since my last email BUT I needed to share some news that I’m super excited about! (For the record, my eventual goal is to make these newsletters every-other-week or so).

My novel is a Claymore Award finalist

THAT’S RIGHT. I’m a finalist for the Killer Nashville Claymore Award!!! It’s for the best 50 first pages of an unpublished manuscript. My novel is The Stonecrafters. Here’s my working elevator pitch:

In modern-day Indiana, two long-lost sisters reunite to investigate who is undoing their guild’s work by freeing demons from their stones. But when one sister displays demonic powers, they must grapple with the possibility that she may be the very thing they’ve dedicated their life to trapping.

I am positively giddy.

I’m presenting a workshop on Editing

If you’re a local author (or aspiring writer), save the date for September 30th. Louisville Literary Arts is organizing its annual Writers Block Festival.

Here’s my workshop blurb:

Editing can be tough. Whether you’re facing your own sloppy first draft or sitting in a critique group reading someone else’s pages, it can be hard to know where to start.

This workshop offers a structured approach to editing by presenting a hierarchy of editorial concerns. Following this framework enables you to pinpoint and address the most significant issues in a piece, resulting in more efficient and effective editing.

From understanding what ‘show don’t tell’ really means, to using dialogue effectively, you will leave this workshop armed with a comprehensive checklist of five key considerations for enhancing your fiction editing endeavors.

Artist. Seeker. Heart attack survivor.

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