Saturday, August 9, 2008


I enjoyed a very good critique session today that could have only been made better if the folks currently at Worldcon were present.  I'm ready to put the short story in question into something approximating final form.  

The thick stack of paper I end up with after a critique session used to daunt me.  I'd begin the process of procrastination by setting it somewhere not-my-desk, where it would fester for a while.  Every time I looked at it I'd think I should get to sorting through that, but first I have to scrub around the kitchen faucet with a toothbrush.  Right now.  Just like a cat that has to interrupt crossing a room right now to lick itself, I'd feel a compulsion to get busy doing something unrelated to going over the written critiques as soon as possible.  

But, no more.  A lot doesn't get said during a fiction critique.  No one wants to point out every single little grammatical error or the fact that when the character teased out a nosehair you laughed so hard you blew milk out your nose, and you weren't even drinking milk at the time.  So going over the written comments is important, as is going over the notes you write during a critique.  Don't give me that look.  No, you aren't supposed to file those with the copies of manuscript into your to-do pile.  Your sex partner goes in the to-do pile.  The manuscripts go on the desk, so that when you next sit down to write (not blog or surf the net) you have to move them in order to get to work.  I'm a firm believer in not letting manuscripts that have been critiqued stew.  They've stewed already.  They've stewed while you waited to hear back.  The longer I wait, the more good ideas I lose as the short term memory is taken up by details of daily life that isn't going to be important five minutes later.  I don't need to utilize the fact that I had pizza for dinner.  I need to utilize the expression on a critiquer's face as she detailed the impression my work had left on her.  I need to remember what "Yes to Sara and C.S., go with the bastard" means.  

With that, I'm off to edit.  Cue music!

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