By Keith Fisher
Congratulate me. Last week I finished writing my current work in process. This week, I edited it, and started re-writing several segments because my critique group felt a character needed different motivation.
Also this week, I got word from a publisher. Because they have a similar project in house, they passed on the publication of my book, My Brother’s Keeper. The editor said some very nice things about it, and I took that as affirmation.
I didn’t go into a tailspin, which shows I’m learning. I quietly submitted it to another publisher. Wish me good luck. The story is very LDS. So, if it gets rejected, I would have to re-write the whole thing for the national market, or put it in a drawer.
I’ve decided to hop on the bandwagon and talk about critiques again. I belong to several groups. I am the only male member of a group that meets weekly. I’m also the most inept at providing help for my fellow writers. But I do my best to contribute something worthwhile.
Another group is this blog. We look at each other’s work and offer suggestions. But I never seem to get there in time to offer assistance. I am repenting of this, and my ineptness.
In my Real Time group, I bring a chapter every week and put the red marks aside until I finish writing the book. Then, during my edits and re-writes, I go through the valuable red marks my friends have graciously provided.
I call these red marks valuable, because of the diamond like influence those gems, have on my story. Whether it’s a capital in the wrong place, or repeated words. It could be redundant sentences, or things that don’t make sense. Some of the red marks add commas some take commas out. Because of the ineptness I mentioned, I’m sure my pages receive more red marks than others.
While going through the red marks this week, I noticed something fascinating. In my drafting, I had already changed some of the corrections. It means that I am learning. Then the thought occurred, there are several things that my mind refuses to learn. I still capitalize in places I shouldn’t. I add "that" and other pet words, and the repetitive words make me sick.
So I offer this suggestion, get out of the trap. Learn from your mistakes and reprogram the onboard computer in your head. Get it to sink in. Become a better writer.
Another thing I’ve noticed in my re-writes is, I really am a better writer than I was in the first chapters. So, I’m learning. I just hope people will endure with me long enough for me to grow. And please, my friends, have patience with my procrastination. I promise I will be a better critique buddy.
Good luck with your writing—see you next week.