I don’t know how other writers feel about getting their work critiqued and then editing it. Personally, despite the fact that I know it’s helpful, it sucks. Not really, although on a first read through I usually get defensive so I have to set it aside for a few days and then get back to it. Then, I can approach the comments, usually made by friends, a little more objectively. I read in another writer’s blog that you shouldn’t edit your story to please every person who offers advice. I wholeheartedly agree with that statement. I mull over the comments offered and think one thing to myself. Do I THINK this will make the story better? If I answer that with a yes, I try to work the suggestion into my work. I usually ignore statements made that try to alter my story to be the story of the person offering the critique. I don’t think people realize they are doing that in most cases and I know from doing critiques myself that it’s hard to avoid going down that road.
Comments like, “This paragraph should be dialog. It will help define your character,” “Cliché,” and “You need to tie this into the story’s plot,” are very useful. I pulled these from Amanda’s critique of my Suitcase Murders story to show what I mean. Katrina did the same for Larry and me in Prince Charming. I am and will be eternally grateful to these two young ladies for their amazing insights. The photograph is from a page of The Suitcase Murders that Amanda critiqued. It looks like it bled to death. LOL I teased her about using red ink once and the next critique came in blue or green, I don’t remember which. I had to laugh at that one. She reverted back to red on the one after that though. Hmmm, what does that say? I’m making good progress on The Suitcase Murders. I have made it through 50% of the story and made a lot of changes, most of which are dialog. I hope to get through the rest and finish the story in the next couple of weeks.
Wednesday, I met with Diego Wednesday afternoon for one of our Coffee and Critique meetings. I made comments on an article he is working on for the Peruvian Times, an online Peruvian newspaper in English. He worked over my chapter 7 of book 2 (still untitled). He will be heading up to Cajamarca soon to interview people on the mining conflict that is going on up there. He plans on doing several articles for the paper and is interviewing with them this week. Friday I met with Larry again at the Patio. The sun came out; it turned into a beautiful day. We chatted about local and international news, books, writing and other topics of interest. He loaned me another John Sanford book to read, “Dark of the Moon.” I like this guy’s writing style, it’s very raw.
My friend Levi and his family are back in Peru to visit their extended family. I met up with them yesterday to catch up on all the things going on in our lives. I got to meet his lovely wife Alicia, adorable daughter Coral and mother-in-law whose name, I’m sorry to say, I don’t remember. It was a wonderful few hours spent in excellent company. The mother-in-law who spoke no English and knew that I spoke “un poco Castellano,” did her best to speak slowly and distinctly so that I could understand her. She is a delightful woman. Before meeting up with them I did a little walk around in the area and took photos of some of the parks. It was a great day.
I do my best to get out and take photos of Lima and other places in Peru. This wonderful country has a lot to offer. I’m having a great life here, although I do wish the dollar would improve against the sol. I hope you are enjoying my entries and the accompanying photos. Have a great week, stay active, be creative and hug someone. It’ll make your day better.