Thursday, July 21, 2011

A little bit of sadness

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I'm bummed. 

A dear friend and fantastic editor finished reading "The book."  Good news and bad news. 

Well let me back up...

Every night before I go to bed I read.  I have been doing this since I was in middle school.  It is a way to let my mind wonder and my muscles relax.  My favorite books are historical suspense. I recently finished a book.  It had a great plot line.  The history was fascinating.  The cover was beautiful.  The writer is a New York Times bestseller.  But...there were a million characters. I am not sure who the protagonist was suppose to be.  The characters were so flat I didn't care what situation the writer but them in.  I was only interested in the history behind the story.  

This week I picked up a different book. The writer took ten years to write it.  The first chapter made me fall in love with the character and was so powerful it took my breath away.  Each chapter I become more and more terrified for his safety.  There is not an extraneous person or scene.  It is tightly written and beautiful in every way.    

Well...back to my best friend's review.....
  • There are way too many characters. (I have cut 20 from the original.  Guess I need to keep going.)
  • The main character is too wishy washy.  Take it I need to work on his likability.  (At least she knows who the main character is.) 
  • She hated the ending. 
  • There were timeline issues. 
I welcome the feedback.  Would much rather hear it from my friends than a ranting review.  Was it sad?  Yes,  I know I have to start at the beginning. It is like the closet organizer specialist said on Nate the other day, I have to take everything out.  Regroup.  Decide what belongs and get rid of what doesn't.  Then put it back together.  Not sure that will fit into my self imposed publish by the first week of August timeline.  It needs to be done.  You only get one first impression.  It will be a long weekend.        


  1. Well, I love the ending! That's just a pukey friend. ;-) I love you!

  2. The difference between a great book and a not-so-great book is a good editor. Editing and rewriting suck but they definitely result in a better end product. Your friend had the courage to be honest, which is good too.

  3. Ugh..."constructive criticism." It's so necessary, but it can be hard to take, especially when it's directed at something you've poured your heart and soul into for a long time.

    Keep pouring in that heart and soul, Valerie! You've come so far, already!

  4. It is hard to hear negative comments on something we've poured our hearts in to. But if we keep the mentality that it is only to improve our work and not think of it personally then it is not so bad. If we keep the dream of publication as our main focus then we can cringe and bear the hurts. But if we remember that even the "greats" also received criticism and rejections we know that we can endure- they did.

  5. It's hard when you get a critique back. I can't help but wonder, why didn't I see that? How come someone else had to point that out? And then I remember that's why I gave my MS to an editor in the first place: to strengthen my writing.
    You'll regroup and your MS will be better than ever. Good luck!