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Writing Exercises: A Way To Begin Your “Flow”

It’s been suggested by professionals, whether it’s professors or teachers, personal coaches, or others, that before you begin an intensive work-out, physical or mental, it’s a good idea to have a “warm-up”. Some suggest writing a few paragraphs about a specific memory or a random topic. Others are of the mind to also prepare your surroundings with everything you might need. If you use a computer to type your work on, they advise having things handy like a dictionary, thesaurus, a pen & paper, a beverage, music perhaps. Anything to help facilitate your literary “flow” in being productive and expansive.

I’m the kind of writer that usually meditates on mysubject or idea for several days, if not weeks, before I actually write an outline or begin to put my thoughts down. I like to mentally plan out then visualize the whole story from beginning to end first. I seldom do “warm-up” exercises immediately before I write, but if I have a very definite topic to consider, sometimes I do write “flash fics” as if they are excerpts drawn from the whole. I might incorporate them into the main narrative later, but maybe not. It does get my mind focussed on the task at hand. I take extra care to focus on correct grammatics and if my “voice” is not just telling the story, but “showing” it also. I want it to be readable.

There are times when I couldn’t get my writing going if someone offered me a million dollars for a sole paragraph. If I happen to try a writing exercise, and it is difficult to produce, I put writing aside for moment. That saves me time of simply sitting and getting a “blank” or typing and deleting over and over again.

Here an exercise I did preparing to focus on a mystery story I am in the process of writing at the moment called “Hazardous Confessions.” It involves a former law enforcement officer who is having difficulty adapting to civilian life. I am on a chapter where he happens to be relating parts of his past to a friend who currently serves in a municipal department.

 

“The young woman, late twenties, brand new sports car and very bad attitude, had been impatient and rude from the time I motioned her to the side, out the line of traffic. As soon as she rolled down her window the words out of her mouth, after a very loud sigh, were, “I haven’t done anything wrong!” One of the telling comments wrongdoers’ have been known to immediately ejaculate after being pulled over.

I’d taken her information and issued the citation she deserved, among others I didn’t give, and though I never took anything for granted with the indicators her behaviour had highlighted, I turned and was walking back to my car when I heard the squeal of tires laced with a string of expletives and instinctually launched into a dive to my left out of the radius of which her tires could turn, but not before the left front quarterpanel struck my lower legs causing serious injury. It was almost stereotypical: the sounds, the world seeming to move in slow motion as I was struck and lifted into the air while the car sped off.

The next weeks were as a strange dream you are experience awake yet cannot truly be a part of or understand. There was response to my calls for back-up, and an ambulance which took me away. The woman was apprehended, and in due course, there was a trial and a conviction. The evidence had been clear and there were a number of credible witnesses, a team of roofers who had been working very nearby on a house. That could have been considered a triumph but I was no longer able to pass specifications. It was suggested I request and test  for another position behind a desk, not the average, but one still vital. I did so. I went to the interview with high hopes yet when I walked into the office of the captain who was to be interviewing me, I could see in his face something was wrong. I could tell when I walked in the office and his secretary refused to meet my eye or answer my friendly greeting directly. Her response had been terse and almost sneering.

In further checking my references and contacting friends, family, co-workers or managers from the past, they’d contacted a former supervisor whom I’d had a strong disagreement with and this former supervisor had given the most derogatory comments possible, almost to the point of accusing me of criminal activity. Instead of considering the many glowing comments made from over two dozen others, or checking further into that supervisor’s own activities, as they were fired from their position less than a month after that review for mendacity, I was denied the job and it was suggested I move on to another career. With hindsight, that captain rescinded that suggestion and acknowledged a wrong had been done to me but I no longer wished the job. It might have been devastating to me. The day it happened, the day afterwards it truly was, for I was in a shock which crested to terrible anger then into bitterness. Ironically enough, only a week after that, it was the greatest thing which could have happened to me.

For years I had questioned myself about my choice of career. There were many aspects of the law enforcement I enjoyed. I loved helping people. It was my privilege to try to help those who could not help themselves even if they were convicted criminals, drug users or whatever else, but the department I worked in was rife with bigotry and if not that strong description, a certain apathy towards those they considered “less desirable or worthy”. I had questioned my remaining in the USA when I was unhappy. Had I been offered the promotion I would likely have accepted and remained in my misery and kept it hidden to my emotional detriment.

Instead, I booked a one way flight back to Germany but not to the city of my birth I was familiar with, but to the capital Berlin, where I knew no one. I had no accommodations or plans or hope for work. I just needed to get away and return to the place I had loved and felt I had been loved. I succeeded in finding many dear friends, and love, and work.

Some might believe a terrible incidence such as my injury might have caused lassitude. Some might believe the humiliation of a horribly failed interview even if I was later justified might have caused a sense of failure, but those events were the ones which allowed me to actually achieve happiness and true acceptance in my life. Those were negative events to be sure, but their effect was an epiphany and rebirth of self for me.”

 

There are many writing groups and forums across the web that both challenge and provide creative outlets for authors such as Indie Ink. I’ve not had the time to participate recently, but if you’re looking for a fun place to polish your “skills”, check them out:

IndieInk

Interested in flexing your creative writing muscles every week alongside some of the most talented writers on the web? Join our IndieInk Writing Challenge!

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Being Reviewed: You & Your Manuscript

Although this review/interview book and literary pursuit blog began on 31 October 2010, I’ve been reviewing works before both as an individual and for web groups. I was what I call an intake specialist (aka ‘filter’) for a literary magazine. Basically I read through the large amount of submissions, passing those more worthy onward and upward, in order to save some of the editors time. Afterwards, with authors selected for possible publication but who needed a little extra help, I worked to edit and revise their manuscript. That’s how I’ve been around the publishing business for almost ten years, but not in the forefront or anything, where my name might be known.

After being published by Dreamspinner Press, StarBooks Press and JMS Books in 2010, and producing a few titles under my own independent publishing brand “Flying With Red Haircrow”, I encountered the bane of many self-published authors: the very many review groups which do not accept indie or selfpubs. I well understand some of their reasons for doing so, but I also knew I’d taken the chance and read self-pubs which were at least equal to offerings by traditional publishers. Plus the fact I’d read very many ebooks from the same, which what I personally found sub-standard writing and plotting, interspersed with enough errors for me to question editing.

I’ve learned some things which might be common knowledge, but also perhaps some things writers, readers or reviewers haven’t thought about.

My guidelines for a review and/or interview request might seem very detailed, but they aren’t really. I just choose to provide information about what I like to read, what I will and will not read, possible reasons for rejection etc. Here are my basics and the “why” of them:

1. Email to provided address with “review request” in the subject line.

2. Include your title and a brief blurb, word count and short bio if desired.

3. Attach story file, .pdf preferred.

Number one, reviewers often receive lots of email, I’m no exception, from review requests, other writing projects, newsletters and like. I specifically ask to have “review request” in the subject line because I have a filter in place which redirects all such emails to a special folder. If you do not do so, it is much more likely you will not receive a return response because your message has been lost amidst a couple of hundred messages in the inbox, or possibly been shunted to the spam folder (I do check it periodically to check if this happens with something I need). I am quite sure many other review sites, etc. have filters to help redirect mail especially if it’s a dual, multi-account or main contact email.

Number two, of course, a reviewer would need the title and blurb. Flat out, it’s annoying to have to go research a writer’s blurb or description, or mildly so if they include the title only in the subject line and not inside the email as well. It might seem like a small thing to have “back out” to find out what it is, but after you’ve done it with a dozen emails in a row, it’s taking up time unnecessarily. Also it’s rather common sense or knowledge when writing a request or query to say something like “Hallo, I am writing to request you review my story________,” and so forth.

The word count is requested so I can get an idea of the amount of time it may take me to read and review a story, and if I can work it into my current queue and give a moderate ETA. If I have ten 100K or 300 page stories in queue, if I receive another at that point, I’m going to be honest and say it may take me a while to review it or I will have to reject it.  A short bio is optional, but it can help me put some stories in perspective, it’s something I will include when I post the review and it gives readers extra insight into you, plus it could show a common interest which might persuade me to review when I might otherwise reject. For example, I prefer not to read works regarding religion, but it’s an a story of a Christian struggling with rejection because they are gay or have converted from Hinduism, it would probably stimulate my interest when the author states it is based on their own life.

Number three, .pdf preferred. Many computers have Adobe Readers, so the .pdf file is one which has set parametres in formatting and it’s widely known. Not all computers have Microsoft Word these days, and .doc files can have so many different kinds of formatting, it can make opening and viewing them difficult, plus other “things” can be inserted to cause a comp problems. It is a courtesy and evidence of your enthusiasm to comply with a reviewer’s request. For those who only have a .doc, there is a free application which convert your file to .pdf. It’s called CuteWriter, and takes a simple download and less than a minute.

I can appreciate writers may provide coupons so I can go visit other sites to download their file, but as a writer myself, I know I have copies of all formats saved to my computer which I provide when I seek a review, especially if it is requested I do so upfront. They may think this is easier. Having to visit other sites and search for and download a file once may not seem like much. When you have twenty requests and you’re having to take time to visit other sites twenty times?  Most reviewers, myself included, want to be spared this extra step.

These are specific to my website, but as a writer who has submitted work and continue to do so, it’s from personal knowledge. It’s also from being a reviewer and/or working for and with other reviewers and groups. These are similar things I’ve discussed with others “behind the scene.” These are tips which save us time, and believe me, it takes a lot of work on this side of the equation. It’s not just reading and then typing up a review and posting it online. There is a lot of scheduling, planning and correspondence which goes into this process.

Submission/Request Guidelines. Please read and follow the reviewer or review group guidelines. They are there for a reason, and the majority I’ve read I can see the reasons for what they’ve requested. Some do have arbitrary rules which might seem strange, but if you value a review from them, you’d do well to play along, if you are so inclined.

Extended descriptions & information.  Do not include loads of extra information beyond what is requested, such as a list of quotes from other reviewers detailing how glorious your book is. If you have that many, then it makes me ask why are you seeking a review from me, although, sure, you might wish a different perspective or your book was published some years ago and you’d now like a review with a more recent completion date. I don’t mind at all when a writer tells me a little background on how or why they came up with the book idea, it makes it more personal for me, but when there’s a few paragraph were you’re telling me how great your characters are and how much I’m going to like them…. Let’s just say, if everyone did that, I’d still be going through the paperwork. I want to read your story, but please value my time.

Errors & Retractions.  If you find you’ve made an error in your review request, or there is an issue with your file, please let the reviewer know as soon as possible and clearly state what the problem was, that it’s been corrected etc. Attach your new file or provide instructions and/or a coupon with a direct link to your work so the reviewer can obtain it, preferably you provide it for them. Save them time. If you have rethought submitting your work for review for whatever reason, again ASAP let the reviewer know. This is a courtesy.

Respect. Try to be understanding of the reviewer’s voluntary time and effort they are supplying to you. Certainly you are anxious to have your work reviewed,  but harassment is frowned upon. Sending multiple messages asking for an ETA every week won’t get your work read or review posted any faster. Except for very short works which I can cover in an hour’s time or so and give myself a “break” with, all requests are placed in queue in their order of arrival.

If I am having difficulty with a work, yes, there can be a delay as I try to give myself another opportunity and fresh look after I’ve stepped away from it. I work full-time, own and run a bookstore, am a single parent with a special needs teen, and am a graduate student in Psychology. Many days have “extenuating circumstances” for me, and I adjust accordingly as often as possible, but I still do this by choice, just like many other reviewers. Please be cognizant of what we put into these services.

Sharing the Love. Please make sure to cite the reviewer or website if you are use portions of the finished review on your own site or elsewhere, and a link back is the prime way to do so. Also remember, even if it isn’t stated explicitly this is the reviewer’s writing even if it’s about your writing, it is therefore copyrighted. This is why most reviewers or sites please ask that you do not copy and paste their review in its entirety elsewhere. It’s a form of plagiarism when you use someone else’s words even if it’s relating to your book.

Indie Writers & Reviewers.  I started out focusing exclusively on Smashwords authors and self-purchases I’d made, though I’ve also received requests from traditionally published authors, and post reviews I’ve done for other groups or websites such as Queer Magazine Online and Ebook Addicts Reviews. Like my own writing, just because I’m an independent doesn’t mean I take any of this less seriously.

I am serious about my writing, and always hoping to improve. I take the trust authors place in me by submitting their work seriously.  Do the same for your writing: edit, edit, edit, and get help if you need it. I don’t personally believe you have to have a professional editor, and it doesn’t influence me in my reviewing or personal reading if a work states it has had the touch of a pro.  I just expect it met standards of English composition. If you provide poorly edited and formatted work, it’s a reflection of you. Do whatever you need to to make it the best it can be.

Constructive Criticism. When I point out some of the things I felt didn’t work as well as might have been hoped, it’s constructive criticism and it’s my own opinion and thus doesn’t reflect what others might think. I am aware of aspect of my books which could have been better so when someone points them out in objective reviews, I accept their comments for what they are. Try to take the suggestions or “I would have liked…” simply as information you can use only if you want to. Everyone has opinions. Try to look at the overall picture, as reviewers often do not know you personally, so they are not personally trying to hurt you. I consider it all yin to yang. Even something negative can bring positive effect to my work and life.

Send your best! Last week, Sally Sapphire at Bibrary Bookslut posted an interview with me on their website. One of the questions asked was:

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers? Yes.

Conceive, write, edit and revise to the very best of your abilities, get help if you need it and accept constructive criticism from those who have your best interests at heart and understand you and your work. That way you can be 100% confident in whatever you produce, and when/if you do receive a rejection if you submit or a review where someone didn’t like it, you still know your work and you are worthy. It just might not have suited their personal tastes or the markets to which they wish to sell.

Good luck and best wishes as always,

Red Haircrow

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The Author Profile

From writers of everything from portable generator reviews to generation spanning epic fiction, most publishers request a profile or “bio” of some sort. I don’t know where those writers get the inspiration from or suggestion on what to include, but for those in the world of fiction, sometimes the end results leave me completely mystified.

On one’s own site, or website profiles which have more than a maximum of 140 characters allowed, writers then have the decision of what to include for mere browsers but more especially and hopefully for potential readers (buyers) to make them attracted enough to take a chance and spend their money.

So what’s your preference? What kind of author profile do you like?

Thinking back to my earliest days of reading (if it was available) the addendum in a book which included the writer’s information, most of what I read was a listing of the author’s more notable works. This is in print form, mind you. Also it might have included their country of origin, university experience or perhaps the reality of a spouse.

In the electronic age, it is less limited in the space you might include such info. But how long? How much? Witty and eclectic or educated and bibliographed? Of course, it would certainly depend on your genre, because you wouldn’t include the names of your potted plants on a educational and heavily peer reviewed journal article of psychology.

Even if you are writing in the fiction genre, for me, reader interaction should be very simple. An offering of relevant or interesting information about yourself should be “real” not just something which might seem clever to a certain demographic yet considered inane and irrelevant to others.

Ah! But maybe one’s author profile/information is about assuming who you and your writing will appeal to.

A short list of my pet peeves in author’s profile?

 

1) The mention of their potted plants names. (Curious and suggestive of a quirky personality but what’s the relevance?)

2) Of how many cats they have or how “human” they are and what observations they make. (That’s like believing everyone thinks your children are as cute as you do)

3) Ones which don’t really say anything at all or are completely irrelevant in a certain way: “So-and-so is a writer who lives on the edge, drinks coffee six times a day and believes there is life after death.”

When I first wrote my webpages at GLBT Bookshelf, Smashwords, my Facebook fanpage and other locations, I included information which was superfluous and although I thought it pertinent to help a reader understand me more, for many it could just as easily have pushed them away. Certainly someone might have questioned the necessity of the info, and still question some of the info I currently include.

My thoughts on intercultural perspectives and even why I began writing were points that didn’t need to be made. Although I don’t have a problem with someone being passionate about ideals or causes, in a general posting, on a general website…there wasn’t a need for me to say any such thing. I simply needed to introduce myself.

Be assured I do not discount or think slightingly of a person who chooses to do, nor would I try to offer correction unless they specifically asked my opinion. That attitude is what I personally experienced from writers who were more “established” in the market, both by their own words and egos.

People are different. That’s all. And how they express themselves shouldn’t be judged hastily without knowing them. Nor should assumptions be made as to what they’re trying to say or the “ascertaining” of some kind of underlying meaning. I am a psychology graduate student and even from the more than average studies I’ve made into personality assessment and observation, I wouldn’t even begin to try to “judge” or categorize someone without having spend considerable time speaking with them. I am not discounting the instinctual or gut feeling some people tend to make about others, known or unknown, but even those things must needs have an open mind attached to them and a frame of true knowledge/reference or they are essentially useless.

I like a more detailed biography of an author if the application allows. Somehow it speaks to me of their personality, of themselves and their intentions. Within those words they do reveal incalculateable things about themselves for good or for ill. I seldom find it ill, however. When a writer’s profile seems to deliberately set up a kind of subterfuge to distract the reader, I find that off-putting.

Most of my fictional writing involves gay characters or themes in a life situation which includes both understandably difficult times but also periods of joy or camraderie. My works take into account and includes the very real life experiences I’ve had. I want my writing to speak for itself, but in this age of electronic book saturation, most readers have so much they have to wade through to actually reach the kind of books they wish to read. Many wish to be able to make a decision on what to purchase without having to “jump through hoops” or read a psych profile.

Some readers rely on recommendations from friends or others (something I rarely do) or they return to authors they’ve previously purchased and been entertained by. It seems less people are willing to take a chance on newcomers who don’t “do a certain seductive and directed dance” even though the price of downloading one eBook is often less than 80 or 90% of what they would spend for new hardcover release. I don’t blame them, because with the technological age almost anyone can publish their imaginings but it doesn’t mean it’s reasonable or enjoyable.

After requesting from Mark Coker that information about my review site Flying With Red Haircrow be listed at Smashwords I recently had an influx of requests. I was thankful for each one, and hoped they’d read my author profile and why I do reviews. Yet the outstanding aspect of the emails I received was the author information, all of which had included some sentences except one. Including author info doesn’t influence what I may think about their work after I read it, but it revealed something about me of their “person”. Some were general profiles which certainly were posted elsewhere online, but some were typed out. They were willing to take a chance to tell themselves about me. They trusted me with their work, their creation. To me that’s a sacred trust.

I’ve have someone in stages of reviewing work of mine instead of simply dismissing something or some situation they didn’t understand, choose to write and ask me a few questions. Instead of assuming what someone named Red Haircrow might write and the reasons for it, even if they’d read my profile or bio on various sites, they wanted a greater insight beyond “word count”. From their own view of why they thought someone might be writing such a story, they were presented with the reality of what the story and characters were representing. They choose to actively view the story, setting and author from a wider angle than what they went into the story expecting. That is exactly my point in writing anything, to try to expand the reader’s view of the world or actually introduce them into the world I’ve lived.

These days, some readers don’t seem to understand they are reading an author’s work, not JUST an entertaining story which has been geared to entertain them. Sometimes it seems from other reviews I’ve read, some readers have lost the literary aspect of what books mean. But, just the same, many writers write now just to cater to a certain niché of readers. It’s a profession. It’s something to do more and more of to gain fans and revenue. I can’t fault that, everyone is different about why they write. I don’t question it either because many publishers are saavy to the razor’s edge sharp. They, of course, want to turn out which will draw, keep readers and make them money. Even established readers of one genre have found themselves presented to the reality by agents/publishers they must write about vampire or shifters characters because that is what is the hottest thing going these days, though m/m fiction is strongly trending.

So in some ways, a simple thing like an author’s profile can be reflective of genre markets also. So many want easily breezeable books (or those who cater to their personal tastes) they can readily identify with. Books descriptions, if even slightly ambiguous, are those many might pass on for more predictable offerings. With an author’s profile, if it’s superficial, flippant, or obviously funny/sexual/provocative, many just go with it. Just as they seek a pointed yet still light read, heavy on drama, light on literary aspects, they may pass on author who chooses to present more than just “reality TV” banter.

It’s a balance writers have to make at some point, although it can be changed or modified later. First impressions can be de rigeur with many and keep the more superficial reader from researching more about an author or reading their work.

I don’t regret anything I’ve posted or later modified for that matter. I am who I am. I am, on average, and not from my own opinion, more candid than most. Yet I’ve become more cognizant of what some people might think about me BEYOND what I’ve posted on my author profile. I am me, but it would be entirely stupid not to consider what might be said or misinterpreted about me which could affect many things. Sales are not my concern although of course it can also be a measure of those considering my writing, and what someone thinks of me…that’s something I know I can never change or influence if someone chooses to be think badly of me.

Give the names of your potted plants if you must, and provide those quirky affectations of your furry friends if the need moves you. It must be popular and acceptable because so many writers, high sales and exposure down to the new kid on the block, continue to do so.

Make your author profile what is really you, even if it is only 140 characters alá the Twitter requirement for “tweets”. Take into consideration the suggestions of your agent or publisher or those you consider more experienced in the profession, but never lose your own persona. Never lose yourself or present something which does not reflect utterly which is you.

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The Bravery of Editing: Allowing Your Work of Art True Freedom

Some people view editing as negative or tedious or something for someone else to do for them, but I actually enjoy editing as I love the stories I am in the process of creating. To revisit them again and again, I never tire of it though understandably I can be frustrated when I am unable to direct them in the manner I wish them to go. That’s when I step away and give both of us peace and quiet. I visit other “friends” in their stories.

To quote myself from a post at Goodreads.com“Every word I write is like a drop of my blood. If it’s flowed passionately and long, I need time to recover from the emotion spent before I began a new story. My characters are my life. I have to respectfully and carefully move between them.”

Yet some writers view each word cut away from the manuscript in the same way. I can appreciate wanting your work to remain exactly as you’ve written it, but I look at editing in a different way.  To me editing is a way to better showcase my characters, scenes and plot. If superfluous words or descriptions are holding them back, then those words need to be slashed away to reveal the true heart and depth of my meaning and purpose.

Think of it as bringing a human’s form out of block of marble. The most beautiful person you can imagine is inside waiting to emerge. You wish to present them to the world in all their finest glory. If the sculpture is still rough edged with some areas not as clearly defined or conversely, if it is draped with unnecessary materials, such as cloth or leafed branches, you need to remove anything distracting from your work of art.

The idea for this entry occurred to me after reading an article at “Guide to Literary Agents Editor’s Blog” by Chuck Sambuchino, it was titled “Agents Chapter 1 Pet Peeves”. Happily, only one pet peeve out of the list could I be considered truly culpable of, and that was having descriptive phrases some might find unnecessary.

Partially it is my writing style, which tends towards the (I’ll put it nicely) archaic in that I seriously dislike the brevity “modern” electronic based books have elicited in so many writers. Many people who prefer ebooks or books they can view with electronic devices want them to be “scrollable”. They seem to want to breeze through a work and not actually have to think about what they are reading. They pay a minimal amount compared to print hardcovers, and they want to move on to the next work. Enjoy the moment and then put it aside.

I am a thinking reader, therefore I am also a thinking writer. When I create a story, I choose to not simply “tell” it, but within the scenes or descriptions the reader is encouraged to learn about the characters, their motivations, their weaknesses and even past occurences by thinking the scenes through. Descriptive phrases help me do so, but I absolutely having too many, too quickly, or in too great of detail can overwhelm the reader and bog down the pace and flow.

This particular pet peeve of some agents elicited many comments although they’ve been removed now for whatever reason. The summation from the majority questioned whether an agent’s personal preference for not having descriptions should automatically disqualify the whole book. Some agents indicated they tossed a book after the first chapter if it had too many descriptions, a fact I personally commented on also, which I thought was very much lacking in objectivity.

One “work in progress” of mine is a literary fiction project named “The Agony of Joy”. I love the characters, and I wish for readers to also come to know and care for them. Without descriptive phrases of some sort, one cannot visualize those characters. I do not ascribe to the view of giving only a sketchy outline of appearance and letting the reader use their imagination to create the person as they wish them to be. I prefer them to use their imagination to visual the person I wish them to see. Thus, very strongly I want those characters seen in their “best light” whatever emotions or behavior they happen to be displaying.

I’ve had a number of betas going over my story, and it had been noted I used too many descriptions too densely although, by majority, they liked the characters, story, settings and plot. I agreed with their assessment, and have “whittled” them away to streamline my work. I felt eager to have direction. Out of 30K words I’ve roughly  pared away 2,000 or so, but I feel it’s better than ever….and I will continue to try to improve upon it.

Don’t be afraid to edit effectively. Think of your work objectively. I am very stubborn and contrary person in a way, and I very much prefer to do things my way: write my way, create my way, present my work my way, but it is insensible to not take into account suggestions and constructive criticism which might help me improve the story I wish to tell.

In fact, when I went back to edit “The Agony of Joy”, I felt a new love for my characters, an excitement I hadn’t felt for weeks. I felt no hesitation in cutting away what was unnecessary. Yet to test my enthusiam, I did create a document solely containing those slashed phrases or paragraphs. Periodically I insert them again, but I’ve yet to find one which is needed any longer.

One dissenting voice of the betas said my whole story was pointless and it simply needed to be deleted.

“Is there a purpose to this story? Who is protagoninst? Whose story is this? Is there an antagoninst? Is there a sruggle? What is it that Lexx or Adrian want? What or who is preventing them to get it? How are they going to go about resolving the obsitcals? Is there a clear character arc here? Are they same persons in the beginning of the book, through the middle and do they come out the same? Do they learn from their jurney? None of this is set forth in these opening passages. I don’t see any purpose to anything that is written here.”

Well in that, you can determine that for yourself, as the description, blurb and first chapters are available on one of my webpages, The Journey of Red Haircrow: The Agony of Joy.  My response basically was: read the description, then realize this is not pulp fiction but literary fiction.

And editing is always an ongoing project, up to a certain point that is…

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