theageofvalor: (luella with her sword)
[personal profile] theageofvalor
When I finished my first "story" at the age of sixteen, constructive criticism was not part of my vocabulary. All throughout the writing process, I had friends reading along and were constantly telling me how good it was, and not to change a thing. As someone just starting out and knowing nothing about the literary world, I was pretty impressed with myself. I thought I might have a shot at publication. Because of this praise, I sent my completed work to an aunt of mine, someone who also wrote, to take a look at. I was expecting a letter back telling me how wonderful it was. So when I got back the chapter I'd sent her, hand written, and found it marked all over the place in red with numbers, circles, and an index of corrections and comments to go with it, I was crushed.

Fast-forward about fourteen years and I'm still a little nervous about the critiquing process. I am thankful to be blessed enough to have two talented women looking my work over and giving me honest feedback. They have been able to tell me (sometimes not so gently) when things work and when they don't. They correct my atrocious grammar, point out inconsistencies, question my intent, tell me what works, what doesn't, and how I can make it better.

With the first book of the Age of Valor series completely written and already gone through three revisions, I am working closely with my trusted editors so that this will be the last revision I'll need to do before trying for publication.

When I began this process, I expected it to be something like finding the notes, correcting, and moving on to the next point in question. What I didn't expect was how draining it would be. Rearranging and redefining things...trying to make sense of the chaos I understand but my readers would not. I expected to whip right through it. To be done in a week, tops. I'm lucky to get through half a chapter a day.

This entire thing has been such a learning process, and it's been an adventure. I can't wait for this part to be over, and to see what's coming up next.


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The Age of Valor

April 2011

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