Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Word Count Wednesday

So this is how critique group went last night.

My critique partners sat across from me so I was alone on one side of the table.  And then one of them said, "Oh good, we're on teams."

Not a great way to start when it's *my* manuscript chapters being critiqued.  It's quite scary actually.  They even looked at me meanly.  Narrowed eyes, red pens tapping on the table.  A little shiver of fear went through me.

I read the first paragraph and got a smiley face, so that put me at ease.  Maybe it won't be so bad, I thought to myself.  No.  They were just luring me in so they could SMACK ME DOWN.  See all these 'ing' words, Julie?  BAD.  "ING ING ING Say it.  ING is bad."  And look at this here.  INFO-DUMPY.  All I read is wahwahwahwhawahwah, like on Charlie Brown when the teacher is speaking.  FIX THAT.  Say it with me, Julie.  INFO DUMPS ARE BAD.  And then they made bad faces and pointed their red pens at me.  That's when I cried while they laughed---horrible evil laughs.

And when I stopped crying, they gave me some banana bread and told me to go home and don't ever bring crap like that again.

Oh all right, it wasn't quite like that.  They tried to be all nice with the, "don't hate me when I say this, but it was a little info dumpy here.  I think you need more tension.  But it's good.  I really like it!"

They couldn't trick me though, I knew what they were really thinking.  (Although the part about the banana bread was true and it was really good even though I knew it was just a treat to assuage their guilty consciences for being mean to me.)

(All right they weren't mean to me, except when they threw chocolate chips at me and called me a baby.)

(Okay, they didn't call me a baby, but they did throw chocolate chips at me.)

(It was one of those nights where you just had to be there, you know?  Maybe I'll just leave it at that.)

So here I am trying to fix all the bad spots they found.  My word count will be high because I am motivated and awesome.  Maybe I'll even flip my hair and say I'm worth it today just to affirm that to myself.

How did your word count go this week?


Debra Erfert said...

Oh...let's talk of happier things than my word count, shall we? I hope all those chocolate chips didn't land on the floor. At least remember that the 3 second rule applies to all dry foods and those delicious semi-sweet morsels were still good to eat!

I so envy you your writers group, and I know envy is something I'll repent for tonight, but I couldn't stop that naughty emotion from creeping its way into my heart. I'm sure there was much more laughing than crying.

When I joined my online writers group a couple of years ago the women were much more inclined to critique a chapter, or a query letter, or even help out with a synopsis. But as of late, everyone is too busy with their writing, or have dropped off the site completely. We had a spankin' brand new member post her first chapter right on the critique line instead of having it in a folder for us to open, and out of over 200 women on the membership list, I was the only one to give her a critique. Two other women gave her a suggestion, of sorts, but then told her how busy they were with deadlines for editors and such--which I thought was rude--and that was basically it. I really wished I lived in Utah if only to be around others writers. I feel so isolated...*sniffs in pity*

I have a question for you and your commenters.

I'm trying to work up a list of agents for a trilogy I'm polishing that has a thick umbilical of paranormal connecting them together. Would it be classified a fantasy or a science fiction? Or maybe a suspense? According to Querytracker, they don't have a category for paranormal. What do I do? Any suggestions would be sooo welcome.

Jon Spell said...

Well, if I'd known throwing chocolate chips was an option...

I wrote 1000 words this week, around 500 on my WIP (which I'm W-ing on again) and 500 words on a silly fluff article for a fake newspaper.

The MidGaardian Publishing Group

to get an idea of what I'm talking about. You'd have to be a player to understand, probably.

Jon Spell said...

Debra, traditionally, I think paranormal falls under fantasy (I don't know about the publishing world, though) I'm surprised with Twilight and the zombie craze and all there isn't one.

If you're into Netflix or video rentals, you might want to check out this movie:

It's basically a detective noir film set in the 1940's, except that magic is very commonplace. Pretty cool.

(jaw drops) You have an online writers group with 200 members? (Granted, 199 who don't do anything.)

Julie Coulter Bellon said...

Debra, I don't know on that! Hopefully someone else can comment and give you some ideas. If you ever move here, you can be in our critique group. But you have to be on my team. :)

Jon, I clicked on the link and I was wondering which screen name you were, Velvet Lies or Hulet? I couldn't tell. Good job on getting hundreds of words this week, though!

Debra Erfert said...

No casting spells, so no magic. I didn't think about going to Netflix, which I'm a member of, and seeing what falls under those categories. You're brilliant, Jon!

Julie, believe it or not, moving to Utah is in our 5 year plan, that's just about the time my husband should be released from his bishop's calling and our house should be paid off. I'm not sure you'll remember your offer, but I'm sure there will be some group close by I might be able to horn-in on, don't you think? ;D

Rebecca H. Jamison said...

I've been taking a break while I'm waiting for my beta readers, tweaking stuff, and brainstorming ideas for my next project.

Debra Erfert said...

Got it! Sci-Fi Thriller. Netflix is gold.

Melanie Goldmund said...

Well, I wrote 215 words to summarize my new idea, but I didn't get any further because I'm giving the lesson in RS on Sunday and had to prepare for that first. Duty calls! :-)

Debra, I feel your pain! I envy anybody who's in a writer's group, too!

I could have sworn that paranormal romance was its own genre. There are certainly enough of them out there! Oh -- you didn't say if it was romance as well as being paranormal. Well anyway, I'm sure it falls under the fantasy heading, as Jon pointed out. Good luck in finding an agent!

And good luck to Julie on improving her info dumps! :-)

Jon Spell said...

Oh, so Debra gets an auto-invite to your group, but I don't?!? I feel like my civil rights are being violated somehow, like a crime is being committed against me! Quick, could someone get me the number for 9-1-1?

Julie: my character name is Morrolan, and I'm using a pseudo-alias in Wanderin' Mo on that page. New issue out tomorrow with more of the same drivel. =)

Funny thing: we go for satire and humor, and someone took one of my articles as factual and asked one of the gamerunners for the special perks I had delineated in my write up. Epic! (I could only aspire to the wit of The Onion, but I'd go with more class.)

Julie Coulter Bellon said...

Rebecca, sometimes breaks are good.

Melanie, congrats! Progress is always a good thing.

Jon, you're already a pseudo-member. :)

And I hope everyone knows that I do appreciate my critique group and the post above was meant to be funny. I know their comments will help my manuscript and was just being silly today. :)