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.”

First Draft for Human Consumption

Ooh, I noticed a lot of people visiting yesterday, but only a few comments on my interview with Jennifer Haymore. Don’t be shy! The drawing is this Friday for an autographed copy of A Hint of Wicked, her NY debut. Go here to comment.

I’m supposed to finish my first human consumable draft of Silk and Seduction today and print it out to mail to Little Sis. “Human consumable” means it’s barely fit to be read and I’ve taken out the <put argument scene here> type notes. From my experience, I know that it’s corny and repetitive and there’s just big gaps that don’t work right now, but no one but Little Sis can fix it!

I don’t know what I’d do without her. It takes a special talent to critique an entire manuscript for structure and flow and proper build-up. I’d pay her if she wasn’t family — I suppose I’ll pay her by organizing her bridal shower. 🙂