kit (mizkit) wrote,

my best(worst) critique ever

Back at the start of the century (!) I submitted a manuscript to a writing contest, which I finaled in and went to the conference the contest was associated with, because finalists got to meet an editor and I wanted a professional opinion on whether what I was doing was any good.

Finalists also wore little ribbons saying they were finalists in their genre. The SF/F ones were yellow. A woman came up to me and said, “Oh! You’re a SF&F finalist! Were you one of mine? I’m one of the judges!”

I said, er, I don’t know, my book was called MANIFEST DESTINY…

And she almost literally seized me and said, “OH! Yes, that was one of mine! You’re one of those writers who writes an AMAZING plot and then drops in cardboard characters, aren’t you!?!”

Me: …
Me: …
Me: …
Me: *wheeze*
Me: …
Me: …
Me: …*tiny voice* well, i didn’t /think/ so…

I went to a lot of panels and workshops on characterization that weekend. o.o

It was *brutal*. It was also the single most useful piece of critique I have ever receieved. The second-most was also, essentially, characterisation-based, and had to do with learning to get my character’s motivations onto the page. I turned in about five manuscripts to my editor at Harlequin before I stopped getting “Good, but now with more motivation!” notes from her. :)

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

Tags: funny, writing

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