Wow! My writing buddy brought over a ragtag, well-used book. I am always intrigued when she brings over books that look like they've survived a flood or some such thing. This book was truly old. It was written in 1934 by a woman named, Dorothea Brande. Reading it - you'd swear it was published in the last year or two.
You know I don't usually write book reviews, but this book is outstanding. AND - you can still buy it or get it from the library. Someone had the sense to reissue it.
We spent the night reading excerpts from it. My buddy had a gazillion passages highlighted and we went through one after the other. It's not your usual self-help book, nor is it an 'education' treatise on how to write. Rather, it's a delving deep book. Learning who I am as a writer, and bringing that into my tales. Being aware that I am creative and pretty neat. It's pretty mind blowing.
I presented two chapters of 'The Other Side' today to the Skyline group. There are two main characters is the book: the protagonist and the antagonist. Each chapter is written in one person's POV. I asked the group if they 'liked' the hero better in these chapters (I'd gotten some mixed reviews during prior presentations.) The group is 'liking' the hero better. Phew!
Then, one of the best critiquers I've ever had suggested my antagonist, who is a Navy Seal, isn't 'clever' enough. I realized he wants a 'McGyver' type guy. I think I'll go back and watch some of those segments. I had a crush on McGyver anyhow. This won't be difficult.
It's interesting what comes out with a good critique group. They're hard to find, and you can get flayed easily enough, but when you find a good group, grab it.
I printed out the entire book of 'Nothing But Blue Skies.' I am reading it WITHOUT pen in hand. I want to 'feel' the book, to make sure it flows, the characters are true and growing, the arc works, and the plot is thick. After I finish reading it, I'm giving it to my daughter.
I have discovered a sadish truth. Family can disappoint at times. I'm sorry, daughter-mine, but it's the truth.
I have a dear friend who has written a book. His wife is editing it. She has other things to do, as we all do, but she's kind of dawdling. I feel for him.
I have a dear friend who has written a book. She gave it to her sister. Her sister has other things to do, as we all do, but she's kind of dawdling. I feel for her.
I am a dear friend who has written a book. I gave it to my daughter last year. She has other things to do, as we all do, but she's kind of dawdling. I feel for me.
I'm giving it to my daughter again. With a deadline. And a smile. I'm not cruel. (And I'm glad she didn't read the MS from last year. I've made some pretty drastic changes.)
Life is waiting.