Advice, Critique, Editing, Fiction, Revision, Tips, Words, Writing

Is there egg on my face?

eggs

The problem with having a blog is that it’s public. If you blog about your writing, you risk revealing your mistakes. I could, of course, have skipped this confession, and concealed my mistake, but that would be dishonest. Surely, some other writer out there has, or will, do the same thing, and I’d hate for them to stand alone, in all their gooey eggness.

Years ago, when I had four little boys and no dishwasher, a friend observed that in my impatience to be done, I always let the dishwater drain too soon and then, invariable, discovered one cup, or spoon, or pan that I’d forgotten to wash. Unfortunately, I’m still impatient, only this time it was my novel I ended too soon. And I don’t mean it just needed a little more editing and another polish.

I was forced to admit my prematurity, thanks to some excellent beta-readers (and to the relief of my inner critic Ms. Perfect who had tried to tell me the same thing.) So I went back to work and now I’ve added almost eight thousand (8,000) words, which takes my word count to a more acceptable level of 76,000. And I still have one scene to finish. Then, the new scenes will go out for feedback to any critique partners who volunteer (and three who have no choice) and the count will change again, I’m sure.

Some of my critique partners read this blog, and they may disagree with what I saw as the main problem to address, but one reader pointed out that I had failed to take her fully through the thought process of my two female characters in two crucial scenes. I agreed. Although their thoughts and feelings were complete in my head, I hadn’t put enough of them down on paper to satisfy the reader. So, I expanded a couple of Meredith’s scenes and have taken Renee through a bit more soul-searching and made her and Jalal test the waters a bit more before the ending. I haven’t changed much of their big climactic scene, but I’m experimenting with a short added scene of denouement. I feel good about these changes. And Ms. Perfect is quiet—smug—but quiet.

So, what can I say? I pulled the plug too soon, but I’ve refilled the sink and I’m scrubbing off that egg.

Next up: party at my place! 

Photo credit: TheGiantVermin

12 thoughts on “Is there egg on my face?”

  1. I know what you mean, about how blogging reveals your mistakes to the public. I keep telling myself no one can relate to perfect people because none of us are perfect – everyone can relate to making mistakes, though they can be hard to admit sometimes.

    Thanks for your honesty! This week, as I’ve taken a quick step away to evaluate my work so far, I especially relate to this post. 🙂

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    1. Thanks. I appreciate how much support I get from you guys. Jennifer and Mireille mentioned recently that French writers don’t seem to want to discuss their techniques or problems with the craft like Americans do. I figure that discussing my fumblings might encourage someone else.

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      1. It does, Linda!! And it helps us all learn from ourselves and each other. I find that when I discuss my problems in writing I can work through them (and in all else). I think the need to keep it all secret and hush hush is silly and serves no purpose. As owl and sparrow says, we are all human!

        It’s great to hear that you did these changes so quickly and efficiently – good for you! Sounds like you have a great group!

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  2. Hey Linda, I applaud you for your honesty. We all get impatient. We’ve all sent things out before they were ready. You are fortunate to have a critique group. I have never been that fortunate or brave. I don’t see any egg and if I did I wouldn’t care all I see someone who’s working very hard at what she does and that’s to be admired! You’re getting there and when you do it will be sweet. I promise!

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  3. I’ve announced the completion of my book more times than I care to admit. Let’s just say no one will believe me when I say it’s done for sure, really this time, no I mean it.

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