How to Escape Story Quicksand

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how to escape story quickand

Today I want to throw my book across the room.

As it is firmly ensconced in my computer I will not do that.

I am stuck, sort of. I feel I am second guessing every line if not every word. This is a middle grade novel and not a haiku but for some reason right now it might as well be.

I am in story quicksand and I need a kind soul with a long rope to get me out.

Here is how to escape story quicksand!

I don’t have critique partners. I think I would like to but I also feel like that is a relationship that must be nurtured over time. With careful consideration too, like finding a therapist or a soul mate.

I have daughters. One who will read it and one who won’t. Interesting isn’t it? The one who won’t doesn’t want to be put on the spot by expectation, either hers or mine I think,  and the other wants to edit!

I sent her 50 pages. To read, edit, critique. It is horrifying. But it was the best thing I could do. I think finding a critique partner is hard for me because I get overwhelmed by the number of changes…that is until I begin making them. Then I get carried away.

I love this quote and it is how I felt yesterday working with Kate on my book.

“There is freedom waiting for you,
On the breezes of the sky,
And you ask “What if I fall?”
Oh but my darling,
What if you fly?”
― Erin Hanson

When I begin to make the changes…I fly.

She helped me see clearly where I need to go and where I was going wrong. I told her to forget reading the rest until I go back with her notes which will lead me to fly on through the book with new clarity.

What a birthday present! It is her birthday but I got the present!

We must not be afraid to ask someone to read our pages.

And we must be willing to listen to the critique. Back in acting class I did this all the time. I performed a scene and then listened to the critique. Sometimes it was hard to take, and other times it wasn’t, but it ALWAYS left me wanting to do better, more, live deeper.

This is the same.

I can’t wait to get back to work…my kitchen is a bit active right now but tomorrow morning I will be back at it!

So I have two time goals. Jan 30 as she will be done with one class and just beginning her final full semester as a college student and might have time to read 50 pages again. Then Feb 9 when I will be sharing with a group my first 500 words.

I will be at SCBWI’s winter conference in a peer critique and I am frightened of that but not so frightened now that she has set me on the right path.

It took someone else to read my work and my editor’s notes to make me really understand them.

Thank God for daughters.

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