Critique on Silk and Seduction (aka The Dragon and the Pearl)

Already I have a major change — Got a great title suggestion from chaptermate Elizabeth Grayson. Silk and Seduction is going to morph into The Dragon and the Pearl. Isn’t that snazzy? I’m very bad with title-fu so I’m sending cyber-kisses out to Elizabeth. *mwah* *mwah* I just lucked out with “Butterfly Swords”.

I finally got up the courage to open up Little Sis’ package with my manuscript for “D and P” inside. All in all, she was a lot harder on Butterfly first time around, so I’m feeling a little better. Sure she envisions rewriting everything after the midpoint on. *sigh* Got work to do.

It got me to thinking. Even though I don’t plan on putting in all the fixes she suggests verbatim, they’re each telling me something is missing there — whether it be conflict or characterization. Sometimes it’s a huge structural change, like I know I need some sort of milestone that the heroine and hero both achieve together in Chapters 12-14. It’s absent now. And some are 1-2 lines here and there, like evolving the relationship with each chapter.

That’s how I take all critiques. On the first level, the issue is “this is not working” and then the specific details give me clues about what might work. But even if I don’t agree with the clues, it doesn’t take away the fact that something needs to change. I think writers often stop listening when they don’t like the suggested tweaks.

Even though I rely heavily on Little Sis and other readers, in the end the revision comes down to very personal decisions. I’m reminded of a Tyson Beckford quote from Bravo’s “Make me a Supermodel”. (I confess, I watch trashy reality tv.)

Paraphrased, like all my quotes:
“A good model does what the cameraman wants them to do. A supermodel gives him something he didn’t even know he wanted.”

Back in School

I have a pitching presentation to do this Saturday and I’ve been asked to do a guest blog on “Feminism in the Tang Dynasty”. On top of this, I sorely need to revise “Silk and Seduction”. I made progress today by deleting an extraneous “the”. And that was all.

It struck me that I feel like I’m back in university. I “turned in” my presentation outline for peer review, I’m formulating my arguments for my blog on historical heroines and looming over it all is my 300 page “thesis” on love and redemption.

Just like in school, procrastination is rearing it’s ugly head. I sense an all-nighter coming on.