I was incredibly busy with stuff last week, and sadly, none of it involved fiction writing, which is probably why I completely forgot that my favourite author in the known universe released a book last week.
Clearly too much stress is bad for my memory.
Wen wrote the rough draft of this on FB, as a gift to her fans. Not only did she show off how her mind produces story ideas, but also showed her methods for structure, plot, and editing. All of us fans loved every single post*. Eventually her publisher saw it and decided to publish it. Anyway, if you enjoy urban fantasy with lots of humour, intelligence, fast-paced action, and interesting characters (and don’t mind a bit of violence), go buy this book.
*If you want to see all the writing-process stuff, mostly in order, join Baen’s Bar, go to the Tinker’s Dam forum. One of Wen’s fans posted all the FB links. For some bizarre reason FB itself sucks at getting things in chronological order.
EDIT: I just wanted to add, for Wen Spencer fans, this book has more of a ‘young adult’ feel than her regular novels. She’s exploring something through one of the characters, and I think the intention is to have lots of fun with him when he finishes with his ‘babyhood’.
So the second critique meeting went well, and I didn’t run screaming from the room. Yay, me!
I admit, when I realized my printer was messed up and couldn’t print up all the stories the others had submitted, I was tempted to just not go. But I set my anxiety on mute and went.
And it was great. We definitely did end up chatting way too much, but fortunately we still had time to go through everyone’s submission and talk about what we did and didn’t like. I even managed to keep my mouth shut on a submission by a writer I’m growing to really dislike; I honestly don’t know how much of my criticism was due to the writer being an annoying prat and how much was due to the work itself, so I kept myself from going overboard.
I also found that I really enjoyed reading and critiquing (or beta reading, maybe). I was worried about making too many notes, but another critiquer (I know, it’s not a word) was even more verbose than I was and I really liked their input, so I’ll go for broke next time.
Best of all, we now have the option of submitting longer pieces every second month. I’m soo into that; I really did cherry pick one of my better scenes for the first submission, so this will give me more time to a) clean up the next scene and b) write more of the story. I’ve got maybe 10% of it written, so we’ll see how it goes. Otherwise I’ll have to bring in something else. Of which I have lots, so that’s not a problem.
Yay for critique!