Feb 06

My First Critique

WHAT’S PLAYING: LeAnn RimesHow Do I Live” (iPod stuck on country music today…the music of pain.)

“A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.” – Richard Bach

I got the first round of notes back from my new mentor/editor last night, and they were BRUTAL. We’re talking “I must hide my face because I am not worthy to be seen by other people” brutal.

The worst part is that I deserved it. I was so excited about my story and working with her, that I neglected the actual writing part. I rushed through one draft and then sent it off without even bothering to check it over. And the result was a 9,000-word mess peppered with inconsistent characters, setting and details.

For example, I decided to set the story in Mississippi during the summer, August to be exact. And then I turned around and had my protagonist dressed in friggin’ sweater. In August. In Mississippi. The sweater was necessary to the story, but the location and time of year wasn’t. I just threw them in and forgot about it. When she pointed it out, I felt like a complete moron.


At least she thought the writing was good. I just need to pay more attention.  It was hard to hear, especially coming from her. I’ve wanted to work with this particular editor for over a year. And now – after she finally makes time for me in her busy schedule – I had to and blow it by making a series of rookie mistakes.

Ah well, the good news is that she’s still willing to work with me. Apparently, she still has high hopes for my work.

Now all I have to do is prove her right.



Permanent link to this article: http://www.jacquitalbot.com/2012/02/my-first-critique/


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  1. 121jhhwwpc

    Keep on writing, Jacqui! Humility is the first best quality for a writer.

    1. justjacqui2

      Thanks Janice.

      I don’t know if it’s humility or honesty that’s keeping me up nights. What I do know is that I can’t not write. I don’t know if I’ll ever publish, but I’ll keep making up stories and writing them down until the day I die.

  2. Melinda VanLone

    I’d love to connect with an editor like that. I mean, I’d live in fear of what they’d say, but at the same time what a great learning opportunity! And…I bet you never do that again. So already you are a better writer!

    1. justjacqui2

      She’s a fabulous editor. (She even gives homework.) I’ve learned a ton already, and I want to keep working with her for as long as she’s willing. As for her critiques, the worst part is over. I’ve learned to face them with a sort of weary resignation and a margarita…maybe two.

      The next day, I feel energized and ready to learn more about writing.

      Damn right, I won’t make that mistake again. From now on, all my characters are going to be naked! 🙂

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