Critique, Editing, Excerpt, Fiction, My Books, Novel, Revision, Words, Writing

1,000 Words

I submitted to strangers once again this week. Miss Snark’s First Victim opened her blog for submissions of the first 1,000 words of your novel for critique by her readers. A previous version of the first chapter of my novel-in-progress The Brevity of Roses was critiqued by over a dozen other writers, but only a couple had read the revision. So, yesterday I submitted the revised excerpt and hoped for the best.

There are shortcomings in such a format. For one, no blurb or setup was part of the submission, and I think that is a liability. A reader picking up a published book would have this information from the back cover or flap before reading the opening pages. Some questions I’ve received in comments would not have been asked, if I had been able to give a little setup. Also, italic formatting was lost in translation to the blog, so a few sentences meant to be italicized indicating direct thought, inspired questions whether these were POV slips. [Turns out, I did have a minor POV problem, just not in these lines.]

Despite these shortcomings, I’ve had some very good feedback. Some of it funny. I discovered my Meredith is a lush! This impression came from the fact that I pictured her being served those two-ounce glasses of wine served in expensive restaurants, while most others apparently pictured full glasses [like I usually pour myself 🙂 ]  One person even suggested an actor to play Meredith in the filmed version … may it be a box office smash!

Thank you, Miss Snark’s First Victim and her readers. I am thrilled to have such generous writers offer their help to me. I’m off to edit and tweak … again.

13 thoughts on “1,000 Words”

  1. Yes, Diane Lane, most definitely. Now, who shall we choose for Jalal??? How about Brenden Frasier? Okay, so he’s not of Middle Eastern descent. But the last time someone wrote a book with Brenden’s likeness, he agreed to star in it.

    I hope the 1000 words critique helped more than hindered your first chapter.


    1. No offense to Brendan Frasier, but NOOOOOO! That’s not my idea of Jalal at all. But, we’re talking cart before the horse here. 🙂

      And yes, the 1,000 word critique did benefit me. Except for one or two comments, it didn’t hinder me at all. I think my skin is getting thicker.

      Hmmm, does thicker skin wrinkle less?


  2. Linda, seriously, you have really put yourself out there. That is so awesome. You’re getting braver by the second. Now, how is that big head coming. You definitely need to improve the ego factor and then you’re personality will match your writing ability.


    1. You know, I think I’m getting so desperate to finish this book that I’m bypassing the insecurity thing. Just tear it up… but only if you can tell me how to improve it!


  3. This is so cool! I love that you did this! I laughed when I heard that some thought Meredith was a lush. Not because I couldn’t see why, but because I’ve always thought that word was so funny. In all seriousness, I’m not the least bit surprised you got such positive feedback. It was well deserved and great job putting yourself out there. That must have been a bit nerve wracking!


    1. Actually “blind” critique is less nerve wracking than our writer’s circle. Online, I don’t have to hide my reactions. I can pout or roll my eyes or throw things.:-)


  4. How brave are you? I think it is a good thing to dip your toe into the water from time to time and I agree, doing it online is easier than face to face. As long as people aren’t rude, it sounds like winning situation.
    Sendhil Ramamurthy for Jalal gets my vote!


    1. Yeah, if I keep going, someday I might just be described as bold … well, confident … maybe. 🙂
      And Sendhil? Sure, he can audtion for the part.


      1. if he auditions, can I play Meredith, just for the audition of course, as a stand in to whoever plays Meredith of course.


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