BUT I want to share that I’ve joined a historical fiction critique group, and I love it. Who would have thought that this writer (who previously believed that all her words were perfect the minute they hit the page) would be so ENAMORED with having her work chewed up and spat out? But the truth is, these people know the genre. They’ve been working in it longer than I have, for the most part. And they really don’t “spit” things out–they give those specific comments I was stupidly hoping an agent would make.
I’ve also gotten a wonderful editor to look at my first 55 pages. I love her too! Now I know what’s working, what’s not, what holes need to be fixed.
True, occasionally it hits me what I’m attempting to do by mid-October (there’s a contest I’d like to win, to get an agent), and at these times I become like a raging Medusa or some unleashed maelstrom within my very small house. Well, not OUT LOUD, but in my head. I am nothing, if not restrained, for my children’s sake.
So. Bottom line is–to chip the crud off the gemstone of your writing, a critique group is almost essential (and blast you again, Stephenie Meyer, for not needing one–I’m not jealous, seriously). And my writing has improved. Just don’t judge it by this post, written with this peculiar concoction of allergies, headache and humility that has recently overwhelmed my brain.