Stepping into the forest of my mind

Stepping into the forest of my mind
Just as every journey begins with a first step, every story begins with the first word.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Critiques: A Necessary Part of a Writer’s Life
Testing the waters of critique.
It’s deep and luminous in there.
Why is it easier for writers to see what’s not working in other writer’s work but not their own?


            This is why all writing needs to go through critique, because more often than not, writers may not be able to unlock the problems in their own writing.  It’s probably because as writers, we are so married to what we wrote, we can’t see past it.  Having someone who does not know our story look at it with fresh eyes is extremely necessary for all writing.   

Take my “collection of anecdotes,” ahem…I mean my memoir.  I know the memoir is mostly a collection of anecdotes, but they’re funny anecdotes.  However, I also know that anecdotes alone do not make a memoir.  At this point, I’m just not exactly sure how to fix it.

            Organization and pacing is what’s needed according to Kate, my super Author Accelerator editor

            People come to memoir looking for personal connection with the author, she reminded me.  Readers are looking for my progress as a human being and not just a progression of college courses.  Just as in story, the protagonist needs to grow and change.  I knew this, too, and in my memoir I certainly grew and changed.  But it seems that I didn’t put in enough whys and whats and hows and a consistent overarching theme that affects the plot arc.  

I have so much work to do.  
            But I need to help Kate understand that no one was abused or tragically died in the making of this memoir journey.  Well, except for that shy and unsure mother who was afraid of her own intellect in the beginning of the memoir.  The mother who emerged at the outset of this college journey is a more confident woman. 

Or at least she was…until the critique of the memoir came back.

            Does there need to be more substance in the memoir?  For sure.  How do I do it?  Um…that’s what this next leg of the journey will be about.   

This is when, my dear followers, I dry my tears, blow my nose, and consider and decide and revise.  I haven’t even gone through the entire manuscript critique yet.  I’ve only read the summary of the critique.  I need to remember this will take time and lots of intestinal fortitude. 

You have all been very helpful with your insight.  Do you have any advice to share regarding these points?