Thursday, November 17, 2005

I'm Going to Lunch

It occurs to me why, after a while, writers don't read reviews.

I'll take my trusted critiquers over random slapdash any day.

4 comments so far. What are your thoughts?

Anonymous said...

I would agree - but how did you find/choose your trusted critiquers? I finished my first draft of my first novel about a month ago, and am having a devil of a time finding people who will give me strong honest criticism that is also useful. Some will tell me they love it, which is good for the ego, but not much else. Others tell me everything wrong, without any useful input as to how to make it better.

Of the ten or so people I've showed my first draft two, I have one strong, useful critiquer, and a couple who show some promise, but are too easy to please. How many people do you have look at your work, and how long did it take you to find them? Tapetum 

Posted by Tapetum

Kameron Hurley said...

I got lucky in that I west to the Clarion writing workshop about five years ago and picked up a great first-pass of readers. What I realized after multiple critiques is that two of those people, in particular, had opinions that were really crucial to how I looked over my work.

What made the two of them such great critiquers is that they're writing and reading styles are so incredibly different, and they are both so brilliant in their own way, that I knew when their criticisms synched up, the issues in question were definately ones I needed to deal with, and when they didn't, I could pick and choose more easily.

One of them's a South African literary-type writer and academic at Oxford. The other currently writes for a huge award-winning gaming company and turns out adventure fiction and incredibly funny adventure novels in his spare time.

Put those two opinions together about a work of fiction, and oh boy, you're going to get some varied opinions. They're my best critiquers.

And yes, I cherish them, because good critiquers are tough to find. 

Posted by Kameron Hurley

Patrick said...

Crap, I'm one of your two? That's gonna make me a whole lot more nervous about suggesting a wacky gnomish sidekick for Nyx. (For the record, Sandy Castrata, the desert dervish. She can only stab as high as your waist, but that's as high as she needs to go... Just think about how far that would expand your market potential. Plus, she'd have a great patter song in God's War: The Musical.)

I think we were really lucky to get the Clarion West group we did -- a wide range of people with a wide range of skills and specialties. I always feel like no matter what novel I end up writing, I'll have two or three people from our group who would actually have read a novel like this voluntarily and can tell me what made it a purchase or a non-purchase from their perspective.

And to other folks: Kam is an awesome critic herself and an obvious "Don't send it out until she's seen it" person for me and at least a couple of the other folks, as anyone reading her blog would probably have guessed.  

Posted by Patrick

Anonymous said...

Shit yes you're lucky. I'm glad you both appreciate it. I cherish my one good critiquer above gold, and I'm nuturing my couple of possibilities hard.

Unfortunately as a mother of two little ones my ability to go to a writer's group is a wee tad limited. I belong to a great on-line group, but the piecemeal nature of the posting there makes it hard to get accurate reads of things like pacing and plot holes.

I'm crossing my fingers hard that one of my carefully chosen group of hard-copy readers, who has not yet finished, will prove to be another great one. I can live with two, I think.

Best of luck with the novel - I enjoyed the bit you posted. 

Posted by Tapetum