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Gillhoughly
03-13-2014, 10:31 PM
She may live to regret this, but P.N. Elrod has just put this page up on her website. She's paying off a big vet bill and doing critiques to raise the money.

She has an honor system in place, you pay what you think it's worth, but the minimum is dirt cheap.

And it helps out her dog. That's pretty cool.

http://www.vampwriter.com/CRITIQUE.htm

She's selling other things to raise money, too. If you're into Doctor Who or buying cover art....

http://www.vampwriter.com/TimeTravel.htm

Her dog's story is at the bottom of that page.

Maryn
03-13-2014, 10:43 PM
Thanks for the heads-up. I know a few serious Doctor Who fans and have sent the link, since they're going to covet those goods.

Maryn, hoping she earns plenty

Haggis
03-13-2014, 10:46 PM
She may live to regret this, but P.N. Elrod has just put this page up on her website. She's paying off a big vet bill and doing critiques to raise the money.

She has an honor system in place, you pay what you think it's worth, but the minimum is dirt cheap.

And it helps out her dog. That's pretty cool.

http://www.vampwriter.com/CRITIQUE.htm

She's selling other things to raise money, too. If you're into Doctor Who or buying cover art....

http://www.vampwriter.com/TimeTravel.htm

Her dog's story is at the bottom of that page.
That's incredibly cool. Especially for her pup.

Good on her for doing this.

yayeahyeah
03-15-2014, 01:57 AM
That's a staggeringly cheap minimum! Not sure my skin is thick enough to take it, but really hope she raises a ton of money.

Old Hack
03-15-2014, 02:57 AM
Yayeahyeah, if you have the money, hand your work over. Elrod is fab, and knows what she's doing. She won't lead you astray and your skin will soon toughen up.

klswaim
03-15-2014, 03:13 AM
I submitted. Partially because I want the feedback, and partially because even though I don't own a dog and never have, I used to work at a kennel and hate to hear of a dog suffering. If it helps pay the vet bills, that's totally cool with me.

klswaim
03-16-2014, 08:50 PM
Wow, the feedback was fantastic. Oh, not in a pump-up-my-ego way, but in an honest, make your work better way.

And, I got to help a dog!


I submitted. Partially because I want the feedback, and partially because even though I don't own a dog and never have, I used to work at a kennel and hate to hear of a dog suffering. If it helps pay the vet bills, that's totally cool with me.

Cathy C
03-16-2014, 09:02 PM
Awesome! She's one of the best editors I know. Sign up quick while there's still room. (((Hugz))) to her dog. Anything to help out a loyal pooch. :)

Lauram6123
03-22-2014, 08:17 PM
I got one and it was incredibly helpful. It wasn't as scary as you might think. I encourage anyone thinking of doing it to go ahead!

onesecondglance
03-23-2014, 02:20 AM
I'm in on this; a bit nervous, but for this price it's too good to pass up.

Zeddo
03-23-2014, 02:38 AM
I got a really useful (and witty) critique. Wish I could afford to have my entire novel reviewed by Pat.

thedark
03-26-2014, 11:49 PM
I submitted mine this morning, and now I cheerfully await the brick.

Lauram6123
03-27-2014, 12:15 AM
I submitted mine this morning, and now I cheerfully await the brick.

*Holds hand*

It's not nearly as scary as you think!

chompers
03-27-2014, 12:21 AM
I wish I could do this, even if just to help with the dog. It's great hearing of owners that try their best to give their pets the care needed, instead of those who abandon them or put them to sleep because the just want the easy way out. Alas, I don't have anything available. I write my openings last.

thedark
03-27-2014, 12:43 AM
*Holds hand*

It's not nearly as scary as you think!

Maybe I'm a little masochistic, but I'm really looking forward to her feedback--really.

I have sharp claws, and I have a hard time finding critique buddies who do too.

I don't think P.N. is going to have that problem. :)

*licks blood drop from toepad*

BaneStryfe
03-27-2014, 12:48 AM
I'm really looking forward to it too. I submitted last week, hoping to hear back from her soon. I love having bricks shoved in my face, how else are you going to learn? Can't wait to see what she has to say.

thedark
03-27-2014, 01:13 AM
I'm really looking forward to it too. I submitted last week, hoping to hear back from her soon. I love having bricks shoved in my face, how else are you going to learn? Can't wait to see what she has to say.

:) And you're sure to get an impartial answer this time on whether there's truly something wrong with your first few chapters.

EarlyBird
03-27-2014, 03:48 PM
I'm awaiting the brick too. Actually looking forward to it.

parakeety
03-27-2014, 07:10 PM
I was in touch with her last week. She's lovely really.

Mostly :D

BaneStryfe
03-27-2014, 08:23 PM
:) And you're sure to get an impartial answer this time on whether there's truly something wrong with your first few chapters.

I may very well cry, who knows? But I will take those tears, hone them until they are razor sharp, and use them to slice that manuscript into pieces small enough to fit in a very tiny bread box.... very tiny

TNK
03-28-2014, 03:32 AM
I wish I could do this. Sadly, I have bills that need to be paid, and the only story I have ready is a MG horror novel. :e2bummed:

I really hope she gets the money for her dog.

mmallico
03-29-2014, 09:33 AM
I hate myself right now. She said she didn't want any story where animals die and my very last sentence is

'He felled two of the beasts before unsheathing his daggers and slashing through one more.'

One sentence. Literally the last sentence. The only sentence were an animal dies. I thought it cut off before that. I expect a very big brick to the face.

*Sucks thumb in the corner and cries while eating rocky road ice cream.*

BaneStryfe
03-29-2014, 10:42 AM
I just got my critique back and oh my god... I did cry, but it was tears of joy, trust me. She tore it apart. The whole document was full of red and blue, but the things she mentioned, while often hilariously wonderfully said, made me actually see the issues with most of my first chapter. Which means they're probably issues in my whole novel.

Literally the best thing I could have had done with this POS I call a manuscript. Time to call in the Shredder.

Gringa
03-29-2014, 11:27 AM
oh my.......just clicked send..... yikes!

:pinata

thedark
03-29-2014, 05:49 PM
[FONT=Arial]
*Sucks thumb in the corner and cries while eating rocky road ice cream.*


*pets* Think of it this way... she promised a brick anyway, right, so how bad can a bigger one be?

*realizes that's not terribly reassuring, then wisely slinks away*


I just got my critique back and oh my god... I did cry, but it was tears of joy, trust me. She tore it apart. The whole document was full of red and blue, but the things she mentioned, while often hilariously wonderfully said, made me actually see the issues with most of my first chapter. Which means they're probably issues in my whole novel.

Literally the best thing I could have had done with this POS I call a manuscript. Time to call in the Shredder.

Now that... see, that's encouraging. Not the part where you want to call the Shredded, but the part where you now have specific issues to tackle and can move forward with a stronger, better draft. :)


oh my.......just clicked send..... yikes!

:pinata

Ohhh... welcome to the excited/nervous/masochist group! :)

Gringa
03-29-2014, 08:32 PM
Ohhh... welcome to the excited/nervous/masochist group! :)

Yep- that's me! And just got the follow- up email "I'll be with you in a little while" since there's a long line of submissions. Plus she mentions if you're not ready for the brick she advises to retract the submission.....

Sage
03-29-2014, 08:53 PM
This is a pretty impressive opportunity, whether you're new at writing or not. And I love the cause.

tko
04-04-2014, 08:38 AM
Just got my critique back. Nice lady, great comments. She's standing up for her principles. A lesser person might sugarcoat the critique or doing a less than thorough job, and who could blame them under the circumstances, but she's giving it complete and straight. A great cause as well--give generously.

Medievalist
04-04-2014, 11:37 AM
If I wrote fiction, I'd have signed up ASAP.

onesecondglance
04-05-2014, 02:55 PM
I'm in on this; a bit nervous, but for this price it's too good to pass up.

Got my crit back today - she's really good. And worth way more than $10 a pop, so if you can afford more (seriously, in UK money that's £6 - less than the price of a sandwich in a London pub) then do pay more.

StoryG27
04-06-2014, 12:25 AM
Got my crit back...totally worth waiting for! (and worth way more than $10)

Maryn
04-06-2014, 12:28 AM
I'm glad to hear you're getting such great results.

A friend of our daughter's bought something Doctor Who-related from her, and thanked me for the link.

Maryn, who did her small part

Ton Lew Lepsnaci
04-06-2014, 12:35 AM
In line for my brick...

phantasy
04-09-2014, 10:02 AM
I'm really debating this. But...because there won't be any afterwards back and forth, I'm worried it'll confuse or scare me rather than help. I've always had a tough time with the starts of stories and I'm worried the comments will be like they are in some crits, just a bunch of 'it's not working' without any ideas on how to improve. Of course, my writing is still improving and isn't ready for publication so I don't what to do.

Advice?

shelleyo
04-09-2014, 10:29 AM
I'm really debating this. But...because there won't be any afterwards back and forth, I'm worried it'll confuse or scare me rather than help. I've always had a tough time with the starts of stories and I'm worried the comments will be like they are in some crits, just a bunch of 'it's not working' without any ideas on how to improve. Of course, my writing is still improving and isn't ready for publication so I don't what to do.

Advice?

When I was getting started, I'd have done it. And then I'd have probably moped for a while at not getting back a "this is so brilliant, you'll probably be the next big thing!" response--because don't we all secretly hope for such things? And then I'd have knuckled down and worked on what she said were the problems, and probably been a better writer for it. I was in a workshop a decade ago where the successful writer running it warned that most of us would hate him by the end. I still have the incredibly thick skin I grew over the course of those months. I also learned more in six months than I had in the several years before the workshop.

She's not going to say something doesn't work and leave it at that. There'd be little in point in offering a critique if that were the case. I imagine she'll be quite pointed about what's not working and why.

The big question is are you ready to hear it? If you know you have a long way to go, it could either discourage you or give you a goal for improvement. Only you can begin to guess how you and your ego might react to honest criticism from a pro. If you can take it, it can only help you.

phantasy
04-09-2014, 11:02 AM
When I was getting started, I'd have done it. And then I'd have probably moped for a while at not getting back a "this is so brilliant, you'll probably be the next big thing!" response--because don't we all secretly hope for such things? And then I'd have knuckled down and worked on what she said were the problems, and probably been a better writer for it. I was in a workshop a decade ago where the successful writer running it warned that most of us would hate him by the end. I still have the incredibly thick skin I grew over the course of those months. I also learned more in six months than I had in the several years before the workshop.

She's not going to say something doesn't work and leave it at that. There'd be little in point in offering a critique if that were the case. I imagine she'll be quite pointed about what's not working and why.

The big question is are you ready to hear it? If you know you have a long way to go, it could either discourage you or give you a goal for improvement. Only you can begin to guess how you and your ego might react to honest criticism from a pro. If you can take it, it can only help you.

Tough crits don't bother me. My work just isn't as ready as I'd like and my only rush is that she hasn't said when she'll stop offering this and I don't want to miss the opportunity to learn. I'm mostly worried about getting confused. I wish she were taking a horror, I have a short story that's more ready. First chapters are literally either the easiest scene or the toughest for me.

I guess I just need to stop dancing and go for it?

Gillhoughly
04-09-2014, 06:26 PM
. My work just isn't as ready as I'd like

If your work isn't as ready as you'd like, then it's probably not ready for a crit. Get it up on Share Your Work here instead before you spend any cash. Here you can get a back and forth with readers to clarify points and your horror story is good to go.

I've been following her on Facebook and it doesn't look like she'll stop anytime soon. The vet bill she's trying to pay off is apparently more than the advance she gets for a novel. Going to take a lot of 10-buck donations to pay that down.

Lauram6123
04-09-2014, 06:38 PM
I'm really debating this. But...because there won't be any afterwards back and forth, I'm worried it'll confuse or scare me rather than help. I've always had a tough time with the starts of stories and I'm worried the comments will be like they are in some crits, just a bunch of 'it's not working' without any ideas on how to improve. Of course, my writing is still improving and isn't ready for publication so I don't what to do.

Advice?

For me, there were two benefits in taking advantage of this offer. The first, was that I got one hell of a great crit. Stuff that I never would have thought of, and a brutally honest assessment of what I had given her. (And it wasn't mean or scary, by the way.)

But, more importantly, I think, I got the experience of taking the plunge and sending off my work to someone with serious credentials. That was scary. And showing myself that I could survive that was almost more valuable than the crit itself.

EarlyBird
04-09-2014, 07:35 PM
I'm really debating this. But...because there won't be any afterwards back and forth, I'm worried it'll confuse or scare me rather than help. I've always had a tough time with the starts of stories and I'm worried the comments will be like they are in some crits, just a bunch of 'it's not working' without any ideas on how to improve. Of course, my writing is still improving and isn't ready for publication so I don't what to do.

Advice?

I can't tell you what to do, just offer my own thought process. I've worked and reworked my manuscript several times. I'm finishing up my, count them, fourth edit/rewrite. Finally, I think this version is the one. But whether it's good enough, I don't know, which is why I sent off for critting. Even if it comes back with red slashes through every word, at least I'll know. And if it comes back with suggestions, well, even better.

Maybe it won't be easy to see my baby torn to bits, but at least I'll know, ya know?

BaneStryfe
04-09-2014, 09:50 PM
For me, there were two benefits in taking advantage of this offer. The first, was that I got one hell of a great crit. Stuff that I never would have thought of, and a brutally honest assessment of what I had given her. (And it wasn't mean or scary, by the way.)

But, more importantly, I think, I got the experience of taking the plunge and sending off my work to someone with serious credentials. That was scary. And showing myself that I could survive that was almost more valuable than the crit itself.

I agree with this, but I know that if I felt that if my work wasn't finished or polished enough for someone else to look at, I wouldn't have done it. I was lucky that I found out about it at the perfect time in the novel's life - several months after the draft was written and I was just getting ready to buckle down to try to revise and edit the crap out of it. It was a wonderful starting point even though I've pretty much had to start rewriting the whole damn thing. But like I said before, that's how you learn.

Lauram6123
04-09-2014, 09:59 PM
I agree with this, but I know that if I felt that if my work wasn't finished or polished enough for someone else to look at, I wouldn't have done it. I was lucky that I found out about it at the perfect time in the novel's life - several months after the draft was written and I was just getting ready to buckle down to try to revise and edit the crap out of it. It was a wonderful starting point even though I've pretty much had to start rewriting the whole damn thing. But like I said before, that's how you learn.

I agree with you Bane. I was in the same place as you. This happened at a perfect time for me.

sheadakota
04-09-2014, 10:18 PM
I'm still waiting for my brick :) Just out of curiosity what was the average turn around time? I'm looking at 2 weeks right now- not a big deal and definitely not complaining- simply curious.

Lauram6123
04-09-2014, 10:26 PM
I'm still waiting for my brick :) Just out of curiosity what was the average turn around time? I'm looking at 2 weeks right now- not a big deal and definitely not complaining- simply curious.

I was one of the early ones, so I got mine back really quickly. I sent it on March 19 and got my crit on March 21.

phantasy
04-09-2014, 10:39 PM
If your work isn't as ready as you'd like, then it's probably not ready for a crit. Get it up on Share Your Work here instead before you spend any cash. Here you can get a back and forth with readers to clarify points and your horror story is good to go.

I've been following her on Facebook and it doesn't look like she'll stop anytime soon. The vet bill she's trying to pay off is apparently more than the advance she gets for a novel. Going to take a lot of 10-buck donations to pay that down.

Hmm ok thanks for that update. Btw, she isn't accepting horror so I plan to send her chapter one of my fantasy. I guess I can take a little more time before sending.

Btw, her poor dog! I know just how she feels, i have a constantly sick cat.

BaneStryfe
04-09-2014, 10:54 PM
I'm still waiting for my brick :) Just out of curiosity what was the average turn around time? I'm looking at 2 weeks right now- not a big deal and definitely not complaining- simply curious.

I sent mine on the 19th of march, got the critique on the 28th. I get the feeling that she's probably even busier with it now than she was before, and with the amount of work she puts into the critique it could take a while. But it's well worth the wait.

sheadakota
04-09-2014, 11:03 PM
Thanks, yes I get the impression that she is very busy. her initial response was she had received it but it would be several days until she got to it.

It is a very creative and generous thing she's doing. I have a dog with health issues so i can relate to the expense they can rack up. Someone actually suggested we put our dog down, not because he is suffering but because he is too much trouble to take care of- :Wha:

thothguard51
04-10-2014, 12:23 AM
Well, I am a glutten for punishment. I sent the first chapter of the one I sent to Harper Voyager that was in the running until the last cut... See what she thinks...

Gladly donate more than the mere $10 she is asking for...

Wilde_at_heart
04-10-2014, 12:38 AM
It looked to be still open, so I just sent something on. :scared:

At first I was going to send in something on hold right now but figured I might as well send whatever I'm closest to wanting to submit. It's certainly an amazing opportunity at any rate.

Hendo
04-10-2014, 02:54 AM
I'm still waiting for my brick :) Just out of curiosity what was the average turn around time? I'm looking at 2 weeks right now- not a big deal and definitely not complaining- simply curious.

I just sent mine in today and she told me it would be about two weeks so I'd assume you'll be getting yours any day now.

One question for everyone though... In her response she pointed out something in my first few lines that she says she regularly has to tell even experienced writers to avoid. She then told me to start a scene as late as possible and have a hook.

I understand the hook part. But what did she mean by start a scene as late as possible?

Bing Z
04-10-2014, 03:16 AM
My guess. Pure guess. Uneducated guess.

Conventional wisdom is to start a scene late and quit early. Say for example the scene is a party. The MC can be there ASAP, witnesses all irrelevant happenings, numerous bit-role characters come and go, before the murderer shows up, kills MC's wife, and leaves. Alternatively (starts late), the MC can show up right before the murderer does, just enough time to introduce his wife to the host.

After the murderer has gone, the MC can stay, mourns, goes to bathroom, calls his family, gives statement to cops, informs friends, have midnight snacks, etc, before calling it a night. Alternatively (leaves early), he can jump onto a car and chases the murderer (another scene), or he passes out when wife dies.

Rusty
04-10-2014, 03:36 AM
my only rush is that she hasn't said when she'll stop offering this and I don't want to miss the opportunity to learn.

I feel your indecision! For your ease of mind, she offers a similar critique service on a running basis: http://www.vampwriter.com/VAMPWRITER_Critique.htm

The differences seem to be that it's
a) not specifically for her dog;
b) teensy, weensy bit more expensive;
c) word count is usually limited to 2000 words; and
d) for more polished pieces.

Wilde_at_heart
04-10-2014, 03:37 AM
I just sent mine in today and she told me it would be about two weeks so I'd assume you'll be getting yours any day now.

One question for everyone though... In her response she pointed out something in my first few lines that she says she regularly has to tell even experienced writers to avoid. She then told me to start a scene as late as possible and have a hook.

I understand the hook part. But what did she mean by start a scene as late as possible?

Could always throw a portion up in one of the SYW areas or in a Hook me in 200 thread, but not knowing what you wrote, my guess is that maybe you spent some time 'setting up' the scene rather than just starting it?

thothguard51
04-10-2014, 03:45 AM
I got the same message, it will be about two weeks. But she also noted that she skimmed the opening and she can tell already that my opening starts later than I think. She is also the second editor that has suggested I change the name of the novel unless I want a lawsuit from GRR Martin...

Gee, I didn't threaten Martin with a lawsuit.... lol

Hendo
04-10-2014, 04:41 AM
Could always throw a portion up in one of the SYW areas or in a Hook me in 200 thread, but not knowing what you wrote, my guess is that maybe you spent some time 'setting up' the scene rather than just starting it?

I'm cautious about the SYW forum because I always seem to attract the a-hole lol(note that I have no problem with someone being blunt and tearing it to pieces. There's just a big difference between the two) As for what she noticed in her skim that is the, "Don't do that!" I started the scene with my main character waking up.

Chekurtab
04-10-2014, 05:47 AM
I got the same message, it will be about two weeks. But she also noted that she skimmed the opening and she can tell already that my opening starts later than I think. She is also the second editor that has suggested I change the name of the novel unless I want a lawsuit from GRR Martin...

Gee, I didn't threaten Martin with a lawsuit.... lol

No skimming for me. I didn't get any feedback other than to be patient. She didn't say for how long. I wonder if it really means "I got a lot of work to do on this one".

Cathy C
04-10-2014, 05:50 AM
I think it's just more that she got inundated with submissions. I would imagine she has to occasionally eat and sleep. ;)

onesecondglance
04-10-2014, 12:32 PM
The "start late, leave early" stuff basically means - leave out the boring bits.

Say your scene was the investigation of a crime scene. Parts of the scene:
1- the call comes into the police station
2- a detective is assigned
3- they travel to the scene
4- they start investigating
5- they find some evidence
6- they bag the evidence
7- they travel back to the station

The advice given basically means cut straight to point 4 and exit the scene at point 5. All the rest is implied, and only needs to be shown if something relevant to the plot happens in those parts. And even if it does, the same advice applies to that "micro" scene.

Let's say on the way back to the station, the detective is ambushed by the bad guys. Don't go through all the getting into the car and driving along - cut to the moment before the ambush happens. Then leave after the ambush is finished - don't show them limping back to the station.

Basically, keep all the good bits and leave the boring stuff out.

Wilde_at_heart
04-10-2014, 04:57 PM
I'm cautious about the SYW forum because I always seem to attract the a-hole lol(note that I have no problem with someone being blunt and tearing it to pieces. There's just a big difference between the two) As for what she noticed in her skim that is the, "Don't do that!" I started the scene with my main character waking up.

IF you see that at all, report to the mods. It isn't tolerated here but they can't read every thread to look out for it.

On another note, she replied very quickly and said her backlog stands at around two weeks, which is in line with what I'd been expecting.

usuallycountingbats
04-10-2014, 05:38 PM
I'm totally blown away by how cheap this is, and by the fact that the donation amounts seem to stop at $50. I know what I charge for 2-3 hours work, and it sure isn't $50. If I had anything ready to go I would totally do this and spend $50 on it too.

shelleyo
04-10-2014, 05:44 PM
I'm cautious about the SYW forum because I always seem to attract the a-hole lol(note that I have no problem with someone being blunt and tearing it to pieces. There's just a big difference between the two) As for what she noticed in her skim that is the, "Don't do that!" I started the scene with my main character waking up.

You should report it to a mod if someone is nastily, gleefully ripping you a new one. It might be they don't mean to, they've just gone overboard and overly familiar with the bluntness. Bring it to someone's attention.

And yeah, if you start with your character waking up, it had better be because the hurricane that causes the destruction the story deals with just blew their bedroom windows in, or they woke to the sound of their spouse sneaking out the door with suitcases, or something key to the plot. :)

Cathy C
04-10-2014, 06:33 PM
I opened one book with the character waking up. A snowstorm was collapsing her roof and her cat was freaking out hearing the cracking of the walls. Very intense scene. :)

Gillhoughly
04-10-2014, 09:14 PM
I opened one book with the character waking up. A snowstorm was collapsing her roof and her cat was freaking out hearing the cracking of the walls. Very intense scene. :)

Ah, but you know how to do that kind of scene. I've read slush and it's astonishing the number of stories that opened with a "wake up" scene followed by coffee and Danish and a data dump, no action. Yours has action!

MacAllister
04-10-2014, 09:17 PM
I'm totally blown away by how cheap this is, and by the fact that the donation amounts seem to stop at $50. I know what I charge for 2-3 hours work, and it sure isn't $50. If I had anything ready to go I would totally do this and spend $50 on it too.

Hee! I would too -- but then after I read the guidelines, I realized the only thing I have ready for this level of crit is both post-apocalyptic, AND a dog dies. :-/

Justin SR
04-10-2014, 09:27 PM
When I was getting started, I'd have done it. And then I'd have probably moped for a while at not getting back a "this is so brilliant, you'll probably be the next big thing!" response--because don't we all secretly hope for such things? And then I'd have knuckled down and worked on what she said were the problems, and probably been a better writer for it. I was in a workshop a decade ago where the successful writer running it warned that most of us would hate him by the end. I still have the incredibly thick skin I grew over the course of those months. I also learned more in six months than I had in the several years before the workshop.

She's not going to say something doesn't work and leave it at that. There'd be little in point in offering a critique if that were the case. I imagine she'll be quite pointed about what's not working and why.

The big question is are you ready to hear it? If you know you have a long way to go, it could either discourage you or give you a goal for improvement. Only you can begin to guess how you and your ego might react to honest criticism from a pro. If you can take it, it can only help you.

I had to talk my way out of this mindset before I submitted. Because while we all like hearing how wonderful we are, I really believe that I've got a lot of improving to do before I'm the type of writer I want to be, and that she can help me improve.

Rather than hoping she tells me I'm some kind of crazy undiscovered genius, I'm waiting for what is going to happen - she's going to pick my writing apart and I'm going try and put it back together the right way. The only thing I'm hopeful about is that I'll learn how to do it for the rest of my work.

shelleyo
04-10-2014, 10:14 PM
Hee! I would too -- but then after I read the guidelines, I realized the only thing I have ready for this level of crit is both post-apocalyptic, AND a dog dies. :-/

I have one fantasy story I haven't submitted anywhere yet that I considered sending, at least in part because she won't seem to accept regular donations without giving something in return. But there are references to the couple's young son dying the year before, and that's sort of the focal point of the plot. I know that's not the same as a child being harmed or killed in the story, but I didn't want to push it.

thedark
04-10-2014, 10:16 PM
I just wanted to pop in and say that in correspondence with P.N. last night, she offered the following in answer to my question about how long she would continue to offer this service:


I'm leaving this critique offer open indefinitely. Fuzzy's bill is staggering, and the other dogs also had to go in for help. One has also got an eye problem--heading off surgery with medication--and the other needs some madly pricey antibiotics.

Let your friends know that the critiques are a slow process, running 2-3 hours each and I can only do 1-2 a day and still attend to my own writing. I didn't expect quite this level of a response. I'm glad of it, though, and so is sweet Fuzzy!

thedark
04-10-2014, 10:17 PM
I have one fantasy story I haven't submitted anywhere yet that I considered sending, at least in part because she won't seem to accept regular donations without giving something in return. But there are references to the couple's young son dying the year before, and that's sort of the focal point of the plot. I know that's not the same as a child being harmed or killed in the story, but I didn't want to push it.

Consider sending her an email and asking? She's quite friendly in correspondence. :)

shelleyo
04-10-2014, 11:19 PM
Consider sending her an email and asking? She's quite friendly in correspondence. :)

I may do that, thanks!

Ken
04-10-2014, 11:23 PM
So nice of her. Kudos. A real windfall for all of us writers as well. A critique from her is like a gift from the gods. Well worth it, at any price !

chompers
04-10-2014, 11:29 PM
She should do something like Kickstart. Offer the big donors a critique of the whole book or something. While it's a really nice and noble thing she's doing, I feel bad that it's so incredibly time consuming.

Lauram6123
04-10-2014, 11:37 PM
She should do something like Kickstart. Offer the big donors a critique of the whole book or something. While it's a really nice and noble thing she's doing, I feel bad that it's so incredibly time consuming.

That's a great idea!

MarkcusD
04-11-2014, 12:44 AM
I'm still waiting for my brick :) Just out of curiosity what was the average turn around time? I'm looking at 2 weeks right now- not a big deal and definitely not complaining- simply curious.

I'm at around 3 weeks (sent Mar 22nd).

sheadakota
04-11-2014, 01:20 AM
I just checked when I sent it out and it was March 23rd, so I'm about at three weeks as well ( ok 2 1/2) So probably soon I think. I plan on giving more than 10$

Chekurtab
04-11-2014, 06:43 AM
I just checked when I sent it out and it was March 23rd, so I'm about at three weeks as well ( ok 2 1/2) So probably soon I think. I plan on giving more than 10$

At ten bucks a pop, it feels like a steal. Will definitely pay more.
I have dead bodies strewn all over the MS, but no dead animals. Lucky break!
LOL.

Gillhoughly
04-14-2014, 09:56 PM
This is something to consider:

https://www.facebook.com/p.n.elrod/posts/10152005348391434?stream_ref=10

It also looks like she's been busy with her own writing, which explains delays on getting feedback.

Just as well she's keeping it open indefinitely! http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/icons/icon10.gif

itsmary
04-15-2014, 03:45 AM
Someone in my writing group told me about this, and I've been meaning to submit but haven't yet. Getting a piece ready now!

beck_magruder
04-15-2014, 06:48 AM
She has quite a list of "do not sends" though...I thought my novel was pretty tame but one part was on that list. Make sure you check her website's submission guidelines thoroughly.

Reziac
04-15-2014, 07:45 PM
*pets* Think of it this way... she promised a brick anyway, right, so how bad can a bigger one be?

Consider the difference between a brick and a cinder block. :evil


Let's say on the way back to the station, the detective is ambushed by the bad guys. Don't go through all the getting into the car and driving along - cut to the moment before the ambush happens. Then leave after the ambush is finished - don't show them limping back to the station.

If mine were to continue limping back to the station... I'd probably already taught the reader that chances are they'd get mugged on top of the rest of their Very Bad Day... and then maybe we'd spend the whole trip looking over our shoulders and jumping at backfires and arrive at the station seriously Jasonized. :D

I'll have to see if I can scrape up a spare ten bucks. She has a trick of sucking you in even if the type of story isn't your thing (has done that to me a few times!) and figure a person can't help but learn something from having that applied, kinda like a judicious whipping. :D

Krissy Reynolds
04-17-2014, 06:19 PM
Submitted my 2.5k yesterday and now I'm both nervous and excited. I've always struggled with my beginning more than the rest of the story, so this is seriously the best opportunity I can imagine!!

Gari23
04-21-2014, 03:07 PM
Hi Guys!

Just thought I'd tell you I emailed her my submission on the 27th of March, emailed her on the 5th of April and she emailed me back with the following.

"There's a very long queue and I'm only able to do 1-2 a day. At this time I have to do revisions on a novel due to Tor and so the wait is just getting longer. I will revise my website to reflect the additional delay.

PNE"

Just in case anyone was curious about delays. I am yet to receive mine yet, so it could be a while folks!

thothguard51
04-21-2014, 04:09 PM
As of her facebook posting yesterday, she is done with the steampunk revisions and has sent the sucker off to her editor...

AW Admin
04-21-2014, 08:31 PM
Oh, that sounds like a fun book! I'll have to watch for the P. N. Elrod steampunk.

And from my favorite SF/F publisher, too!

milkweed
04-22-2014, 03:22 AM
Hmmmm I guess I won't be submitting since a kid in my story gets killed off in the first chapter, and several animals and humans are also killed or seriously injured along the way.

I enjoyed reading her criteria, etc., on her page though she definately gave me some points to think about.

MarkcusD
04-22-2014, 05:03 AM
Hi Guys!

Just thought I'd tell you I emailed her my submission on the 27th of March, emailed her on the 5th of April and she emailed me back with the following.

"There's a very long queue and I'm only able to do 1-2 a day. At this time I have to do revisions on a novel due to Tor and so the wait is just getting longer. I will revise my website to reflect the additional delay.

PNE"

Just in case anyone was curious about delays. I am yet to receive mine yet, so it could be a while folks!

Thanks for the update.

Smeasking
04-25-2014, 10:55 AM
She may live to regret this, but P.N. Elrod has just put this page up on her website. She's paying off a big vet bill and doing critiques to raise the money.

She has an honor system in place, you pay what you think it's worth, but the minimum is dirt cheap.

And it helps out her dog. That's pretty cool.

http://www.vampwriter.com/CRITIQUE.htm

She's selling other things to raise money, too. If you're into Doctor Who or buying cover art....

http://www.vampwriter.com/TimeTravel.htm

Her dog's story is at the bottom of that page.

I'm really sorry to ask, but, can you please tell me the difference between Urban Fantasy and Literary Fiction? Please and thank you!

Smeasking
04-25-2014, 10:57 AM
I want to send my work, but since I'm not sure what it's classified as, just yet, I'm hesitant and just don't want to send her something she expressly does not want to critique. :)

onesecondglance
04-25-2014, 12:17 PM
There's a pretty wide gulf in your question. We could spend a long time trying to discuss this.

Easiest thing: go and search for "urban fantasy books" and "literary fiction books" on Amazon. Look at the results. You'll quickly get an idea of what goes where.

Smeasking
04-26-2014, 11:32 AM
There's a pretty wide gulf in your question. We could spend a long time trying to discuss this.

Easiest thing: go and search for "urban fantasy books" and "literary fiction books" on Amazon. Look at the results. You'll quickly get an idea of what goes where.

Thanks, Snoozing Kitty! :) I did just that, and submitted it as an Urban Fantasy.

Rusty
05-01-2014, 10:56 AM
Hi! I wondered if anyone who submitted after 27th March has received their feedback from Ms Elrod already?

I just realised that her email could've been shunted under the Promotions tab in Gmail, which I never check! I'm most worried that she sent me her feedback already and she's been awaiting payment, that would be so awkward...

Hendo
05-01-2014, 07:48 PM
Hi! I wondered if anyone who submitted after 27th March has received their feedback from Ms Elrod already?

I just realised that her email could've been shunted under the Promotions tab in Gmail, which I never check! I'm most worried that she sent me her feedback already and she's been awaiting payment, that would be so awkward...

I submitted mine on 4/9 and haven't gotten anything back yet.

Rusty
05-01-2014, 08:12 PM
I submitted mine on 4/9 and haven't gotten anything back yet.

Thanks! I read that she's doing the critiques in the order she received them. So I figured that if someone who submitted after me has received feedback already, then I can maybe send a follow-up email ;-)

Reziac
05-01-2014, 08:56 PM
She's probably bloody flooded. Which considering the goal, I doubt she'd complain about. :)

sheadakota
05-01-2014, 08:56 PM
I sent mine March 23 and haven't heard back yet

Rusty
05-01-2014, 09:01 PM
I sent mine March 23 and haven't heard back yet

Useful to know, thanks Sheadakota! Now I know that I'm way back in the queue still ;-)

MarkcusD
05-06-2014, 04:26 AM
I heard back. Her feedback was insightful. It was worth the wait. Sent mar 23, reply apr 24.

thothguard51
05-06-2014, 04:50 AM
Thanks for the update...

Rusty
05-06-2014, 01:53 PM
I got really excited that mine is probably near the front of the queue (27 March), so I reread what I'd submitted, and... it's bad. I was quite pleased with it a month ago, how does my writing keep turning to ash?

I've withdrawn my place in the queue, so that's one less person to wait behind ;-)

Cathy C
05-06-2014, 02:09 PM
I got really excited that mine is probably near the front of the queue (27 March), so I reread what I'd submitted, and... it's bad. I was quite pleased with it a month ago, how does my writing keep turning to ash?

I've withdrawn my place in the queue, so that's one less person to wait behind ;-)

:( I hope you change your mind. Really. Pretty much every author I know considers what they wrote a few weeks ago to be crap. You may be right that it's ash, but that's just YOUR judgment. It's worth your time, and the amazingly low price, to get the insight P.N. can provide. Don't fear it or consider it a waste of time "until it's ready." There's never a time when writing is "ready". I would go back and edit everything I've ever written--including those already on the shelf in the store. It's only a matter of practicality that prevents authors from doing so.

Take a deep breath and let the editor work, and accept the advice with the knowledge that it's for the betterment of the book. Write back and revoke the revocation. Take back your place in line and get back to work. :)

Rusty
05-06-2014, 02:58 PM
:( I hope you change your mind. Really. Pretty much every author I know considers what they wrote a few weeks ago to be crap. You may be right that it's ash, but that's just YOUR judgment. It's worth your time, and the amazingly low price, to get the insight P.N. can provide. Don't fear it or consider it a waste of time "until it's ready." There's never a time when writing is "ready". I would go back and edit everything I've ever written--including those already on the shelf in the store. It's only a matter of practicality that prevents authors from doing so.

Take a deep breath and let the editor work, and accept the advice with the knowledge that it's for the betterment of the book. Write back and revoke the revocation. Take back your place in line and get back to work. :)

Aw, Cathy! That is amazingly kind of you to say. I'm wibbling a bit here in the corner.

I actually have pretty thick skin and don't think I'd have minded the text being ripped to pieces. But it felt disrespectful to send something that I wasn't pleased with myself to a pro author for critique? It would be a waste of her time...

I've revised my chapter 1, and I think I'm going to post to the YA section of SYW to get some feedback from AWers. And then I'll revise it again and send it to Ms Elrod :-)

Thanks again for your encouraging words!

Cathy C
05-06-2014, 03:21 PM
Aw, Cathy! That is amazingly kind of you to say. I'm wibbling a bit here in the corner.

I actually have pretty thick skin and don't think I'd have minded the text being ripped to pieces. But it felt disrespectful to send something that I wasn't pleased with myself to a pro author for critique? It would be a waste of her time...

I've revised my chapter 1, and I think I'm going to post to the YA section of SYW to get some feedback from AWers. And then I'll revise it again and send it to Ms Elrod :-)

Thanks again for your encouraging words!

I do understand the desire to have the text be the best it can be. But a pro editor's role is to see what the author is blind to, both good and bad. I'd hate to have you edit OUT some gem writing. Your punctuation, spelling, grammar and syntax in your posts is fine. Let the chapter stand as it is. Give yourself a chance. It's not disrespectful. Honest. :)

sheadakota
05-06-2014, 04:13 PM
hmmm, I sent mine out on March 23rd and some who sent on the same date got theirs back, wondering if mine got lost somewhere or if i just need to be patient. what I sent in is ready to submit but i really wanted her crit before I did.

onesecondglance
05-06-2014, 04:23 PM
For anyone wavering over this: it was one of the best crits I've ever had. Very insightful. I wish I could afford to pay her to edit the whole thing - not because I got shredded and the whole book needs work, but because of the amount of intelligent, thoughtul insight she got from just 2,000 words.

Rusty
05-06-2014, 04:23 PM
I do understand the desire to have the text be the best it can be. But a pro editor's role is to see what the author is blind to, both good and bad. I'd hate to have you edit OUT some gem writing. Your punctuation, spelling, grammar and syntax in your posts is fine. Let the chapter stand as it is. Give yourself a chance. It's not disrespectful. Honest. :)

Thank you again! I did ask Ms Elrod, before I pulled my submission out of the queue, if I may replace the submission I sent her with a revised version and keep my place in the queue. She was prompt in her reply, and explained that she has a massive backlog, so she can't keep track of the rewrites that come in (guess I'm not the only one having a nervous breakdown, haha), nor can she shift them around due to limitations to her her email software. She advised me to take my time to revise the new version and send it in again when it's ready - she may even be caught up with the backlog then. She seems like a really nice lady :-)

I think the main reason I didn't want to send it to her as is is because she doesn't accept repeat submissions of the same work, so I want to save it...

Jaycee Young
05-06-2014, 06:13 PM
Thank you again! I did ask Ms Elrod, before I pulled my submission out of the queue, if I may replace the submission I sent her with a revised version and keep my place in the queue. She was prompt in her reply, and explained that she has a massive backlog, so she can't keep track of the rewrites that come in (guess I'm not the only one having a nervous breakdown, haha), nor can she shift them around due to limitations to her her email software. She advised me to take my time to revise the new version and send it in again when it's ready - she may even be caught up with the backlog then. She seems like a really nice lady :-)

I think the main reason I didn't want to send it to her as is is because she doesn't accept repeat submissions of the same work, so I want to save it...

Hi Rusty: I can relate with your ambivalence with the first submission that you sent Ms. Elrod. I sent her my first chapter April 6. A few days ago, I found out on AW how loathed "wakening up" openings are. I freaked out and totally rewrote my first chapter--and sent that one to Ms. Elrod. Now, I'm rethinking that decision! I think my original chapter is really better--I just need to change that wakening up opening. Sigh!

Oh, well...I guess all we can do is wait for Ms. Elrod's professional judgment and take it from there!

Please keep us posted when you receive your work back from Ms. Elrod. Those of us behind you in the queue are anxiously awaiting! :Sun:

Rusty
05-06-2014, 06:53 PM
Hi Rusty: I can relate with your ambivalence with the first submission that you sent Ms. Elrod. I sent her my first chapter April 6. A few days ago, I found out on AW how loathed "wakening up" openings are. I freaked out and totally rewrote my first chapter--and sent that one to Ms. Elrod. Now, I'm rethinking that decision! I think my original chapter is really better--I just need to change that wakening up opening. Sigh!

Oh, well...I guess all we can do is wait for Ms. Elrod's professional judgment and take it from there!

Please keep us posted when you receive your work back from Ms. Elrod. Those of us behind you in the queue are anxiously awaiting! :Sun:

Hello Jaycee. I just want to make clear that I took my submission to Ms Elrod out of the queue completely, so I'm not waiting any more!

I'm not sure what happens when you send her two submissions - she said in her email that she's not able to keep track of different versions. Maybe send her an email about it?

Jaycee Young
05-06-2014, 07:18 PM
Hello Jaycee. I just want to make clear that I took my submission to Ms Elrod out of the queue completely, so I'm not waiting any more!

I'm not sure what happens when you send her two submissions - she said in her email that she's not able to keep track of different versions. Maybe send her an email about it?

Oh, okay! Thanks! :)

endearing
05-07-2014, 04:03 AM
Wow, thank you so much for sharing this! I just sent her my first chapter, and am now both terrified and eager to see what she has to say. My full WIP is nowhere near ready, but my first chapter's already been through loads of drafts.

Really glad to hear that the rest of you have had positive experiences so far! :)

cwschizzy
05-10-2014, 03:00 AM
I sent mine out on the 25th of March. Waiting has been a test of patience I didn't know I had.

WriterTrek
05-10-2014, 06:00 AM
Guys, question... I've got mine almost ready to go, but I'm worried about one thing and wanted to ask here.

Reading here (http://www.vampwriter.com/CRITIQUE.htm) she has a list of things she doesn't want to read. One of them is "ANY story where a child is harmed/bullied."

Combining 'harmed' with 'bullied' makes me think that it means she doesn't want to see children as victims -- of either harm or bullying. Which makes sense.

But she does read YA, and a lot of YA has children (the protagonists) being 'harmed' at some point. Maybe the YA protagonist is out to save his best friend's life and breaks his ankle when he trips grabbing his arm as he falls off a cliff, etc. That's "harm," but it's not the same as a child being a victim.

My story starts off with the YA protagonist leading a monster (it's fantasy) to an abandoned town in order to capture/kill it for a bounty. It's a danger to her town. She gets in a fight with it and gets hurt, though she wins and is not treated like a victim.

Does anyone know if that's the sort of thing PN Elrod doesn't want to read? Because I won't send it if so.

I was just confused by putting harmed/bullied together as one, and the use of "child" when children are protagonists in YA novels where presumably some version of harm will eventually befall them.

Thanks all.

thothguard51
05-10-2014, 06:38 AM
I am pretty sure she understands the tropes with YA and that the harm she is referring to is abuse, sexual or physical...

Lauram6123
05-10-2014, 07:29 AM
My story starts off with the YA protagonist leading a monster (it's fantasy) to an abandoned town in order to capture/kill it for a bounty. It's a danger to her town. She gets in a fight with it and gets hurt, though she wins and is not treated like a victim.

Does anyone know if that's the sort of thing PN Elrod doesn't want to read? Because I won't send it if so.

I was just confused by putting harmed/bullied together as one, and the use of "child" when children are protagonists in YA novels where presumably some version of harm will eventually befall them.

Thanks all.

I agree with thothguard. If it were me, I'd send that to her.

Jaycee Young
05-10-2014, 04:51 PM
I agree with the two above, WriterTrek--and send it in quick, cuz it's getting to be about a two month reply time, now. Not that I'm really complaining--I'm really grateful that she is offering her editing at a low rate! I'm just ruining my French manicures, biting my nails as I'm anxiously awaiting her reply!

Reziac
05-10-2014, 05:05 PM
Guys, question... I've got mine almost ready to go, but I'm worried about one thing and wanted to ask here.

Reading here (http://www.vampwriter.com/CRITIQUE.htm) she has a list of things she doesn't want to read. One of them is "ANY story where a child is harmed/bullied."

Yeah, and I wasn't sure if she meant "where I have to read it" or "anywhere in the book". Gonna have to ask about that... cuz I've got all sorts of her Forbiddens on down the line, tho not at the start...

(...at the start, I beat the living crap out of the MC and ruin his life. :evil But no children or animals!)

bearilou
05-12-2014, 07:47 PM
Just so I understand her rules:

I send my 2500 words fitting in her do's and don'ts

She critiques and sends it back

THEN I pay her?

I want to do this right.

Lauram6123
05-12-2014, 08:05 PM
Just so I understand her rules:

I send my 2500 words fitting in her do's and don'ts

She critiques and sends it back

THEN I pay her?

I want to do this right.

You got it right!!

Chekurtab
05-13-2014, 06:56 AM
I'm just curious if any one got a critique from Ms. Elrod in the span of last week? Last two weeks?
Thanks.

ellebooks
05-13-2014, 07:54 AM
I didn't get a critique, but I got an email from her with some initial feedback and a heads up that she's running a few weeks behind. She just asked I be patient.

Gillhoughly
05-13-2014, 05:57 PM
I'm just curious if any one got a critique from Ms. Elrod in the span of last week? Last two weeks?
Thanks.

She's apparently doing them, but the webpage said she can only get to 1-2 a day. There must be a big backlog. She posted this on her Facebook wall. I bet she rethinks that pay-after, not-before thing.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152057602136434&set=a.464911316433.258437.679251433&type=1

usuallycountingbats
05-13-2014, 06:37 PM
She's apparently doing them, but the webpage said she can only get to 1-2 a day. There must be a big backlog. She posted this on her Facebook wall. I bet she rethinks that pay-after, not-before thing.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152057602136434&set=a.464911316433.258437.679251433&type=1

It's not even like the minimum payment is high! Jeez! I still think this is cheap at the maximum you can pay. It'd be good though, if you could pay to reserve a slot for some point in the future - for those of us with nothing worth sending. . .yet!

Reziac
05-13-2014, 07:34 PM
Most services are paid for after they're done, or at least are well in progress (because the payment issue goes the other way, too -- pay for the service up front and fairly often it never happens, or you get poor results). So that's not odd. The diff here is she can't put a lien on your house for an unpaid plumbing bill, so she has to take your payment on faith.

A couple potential fixes:

--Five bucks (half the minimum) up front to get into a priority queue, but to be refunded if crit doesn't happen within some reasonable timeframe, say 5 weeks.

--Do the crit but hold it hostage til the person pays up.

Problem is this gets more complicated, and may well consume more time than the occasional deadbeat is worth.

Probably a better option is a Hall of Shame page where deadbeats get listed by name, as a warning to others.

onesecondglance
05-13-2014, 07:38 PM
Name and shame for sure. Makes me really angry that someone would take advantage like that.

Hendo
05-13-2014, 08:05 PM
ugh.... it's terrible that she's critting for people and they're not paying. She should wall of shame them. I bet people would find at least the minimum after that. Lousy deadbeats.

Gillhoughly
05-13-2014, 11:12 PM
Well, I wouldn't want to annoy an editor. I am one--and we talk! Some of the stuff we gab about at convention bars would ... well, I'll leave it to your imagination, but much snickering and evil laughter are involved.

But this isn't annoying an editor so much as stiffing her dog. I have to laugh, but somehow that seems worse. People will get more angry about hurting an animal than a human. I'm one of them.

Anyway, some of the writers just might be between paychecks like she said and they're too embarrassed to say anything. We just don't know. Let's not roll out the stocks and rotten fruit just yet.

I checked the website again and she seems to have raised the base price by five dollars. She says that if anyone subbed before yesterday they can still pay just 10.00. I don't know how she'll manage that, though.

It's still pretty cheap, just over or way under minimum wage depending how much time she puts in on something.

She added some writing advice at the bottom of the page. Even if you don't want feedback, some of it is worth a look. She even quotes Wil Wheton! http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/icons/icon10.gif

jhtatroe
05-14-2014, 06:40 PM
Thanks for the update, Gillhoughly. I'm not on Facebook, so the links are much appreciated. It's the only way I can see those posts, as navigating through her page doesn't work if you're not logged in.

FWIW, I sent my scene in on March 30 and haven't heard back yet, so I'm sure the queue is moving slowly. That's okay. I have plenty of work to keep me busy while I'm waiting.

EarlyBird
05-14-2014, 10:40 PM
Just received my crit. No brick in the face, but solid, pointed advice. Truly helpful.

Of course, not I have to go back and rework the ENTIRE opening, but thanks to Elrod, I know which direction to go. Truly wish my entire manuscript could get the once over...

ETA: I submitted my sample April nine, so that's approximately five weeks turn around.

jhtatroe
05-15-2014, 12:02 AM
Wait… April 9?! Now I'm paranoid. Maybe I'm the deadbeat writer. I haven't received anything, though.

Jaycee Young
05-15-2014, 04:17 AM
Just checked my sent emails to make sure--I sent mine to Ms. Elrod April 6. Sooooooo, maybe she's doing some out of order for whatever reason??

Chekurtab
05-15-2014, 05:34 AM
Wait… April 9?! Now I'm paranoid. Maybe I'm the deadbeat writer. I haven't received anything, though.

You're no the only one. The deadbeat, I mean. I submitted mine April 1st. Fools day )-:

eqb
05-15-2014, 06:36 AM
You're no the only one. The deadbeat, I mean. I submitted mine April 1st. Fools day )-:

I submitted mine March 29th, and though I did get a receipt acknowledgment, I never got a critique.

jhtatroe
05-15-2014, 06:58 AM
Oh good. I got a receipt acknowledgment too, so it must just be that she's doing some out of order. I dropped her a note to double-check, but I feel better now.

J. Marks
05-15-2014, 10:02 AM
Having read the website info, there is one thing that bothers me a little about the procedure.

An agent will have the query, and a bookstore customer will have the jacket blurb. Even a beta reader will probably have a paragraph or two that gives them the gist of a story. But Ms. Elrod doesn't require a short sentence or two to indicate what a story is about. I'm wondering if that puts the writer at a slight disadvantage, with Ms. Elrod plunging headfirst into a story and knowing nothing about it. My big reveal doesn't happen in the first few pages, but an agent/reader/beta will know where the story is headed. Ms. Elrod won't have this information, and I can envision her thinking 'WTF?!'. Then I get the brick.

Am I wrong to be a little concerned, or am I completely clueless about how editors normally work?

Old Hack
05-15-2014, 10:09 AM
An agent will have the query, and a bookstore customer will have the jacket blurb. Even a beta reader will probably have a paragraph or two that gives them the gist of a story. But Ms. Elrod doesn't require a short sentence or two to indicate what a story is about. I'm wondering if that puts the writer at a slight disadvantage, with Ms. Elrod plunging headfirst into a story and knowing nothing about it. My big reveal doesn't happen in the first few pages, but an agent/reader/beta will know where the story is headed. Ms. Elrod won't have this information, and I can envision her thinking 'WTF?!'. Then I get the brick.

Am I wrong to be a little concerned, or am I completely clueless about how editors normally work?

Even without knowing anything of what's to come it's possible--easy, even--for a good editor to spot problems with a piece of writing.

For an excellent editor like Elrod? It's a piece of cake.

(Also, note that while a browsing reader can and probably will read the back cover copy, if the opening pages don't grab them they won't buy the book.)

sheadakota
05-15-2014, 02:51 PM
I'm still waiting on one submitted March 23. Not complaining, just letting people know.

jairey
05-15-2014, 03:42 PM
Mine went in on March 26. I heard back on May 13th with a detailed comment about my submission. It was a really tough one, as warned, but the best I've gotten. It's sending me back to the drawing board, but in a way I suspected I'd have to go if I wanted to not self-publish. An agent might have a query letter, but if those first few pages don't do the job, you're not in the door. That's the feedback you're getting. You might not agree with it, but this is not your best buddy's opinion, it's a totally honest take by someone who's been around the block a few times. Totally worth it. And the wait? For the quality of what I got? Absolutely reasonable.

Gillhoughly
05-15-2014, 08:50 PM
Having read the website info, there is one thing that bothers me a little about the procedure.

An agent will have the query, and a bookstore customer will have the jacket blurb. Even a beta reader will probably have a paragraph or two that gives them the gist of a story. But Ms. Elrod doesn't require a short sentence or two to indicate what a story is about. I'm wondering if that puts the writer at a slight disadvantage, with Ms. Elrod plunging headfirst into a story and knowing nothing about it. My big reveal doesn't happen in the first few pages, but an agent/reader/beta will know where the story is headed. Ms. Elrod won't have this information, and I can envision her thinking 'WTF?!'. Then I get the brick.

Am I wrong to be a little concerned, or am I completely clueless about how editors normally work?

I think I can field this one. An editor often looks at a work "cold" to see if the writer is able to bring things up to speed in the opening. The opening not only has to have a hook, but be able to convey in a very short space some idea of what the story is about.

If your big reveal is more than 10 pages in, then you may want to consider a restructuring.

I read a lot of slush and most of the time--other editors do this, too--I skip the submission letter. If the writers can engage me cold, then they're more likely to make a sale. More than once I've finished a story and had no clue of what it was about until I checked the submission letter. Those stories are always rejected. A story has to be able to stand on its own without an explanation.

A critique isn't about selling the story, it's seeing if the writing is up to snuff. Of course the writer is at a disadvantage! We all are when something lands on an editor's desk (or screen, as we do now).

The whole idea is to grab the reader on the first page with a hook and drag them into your reality for the duration.

FWIW, I'm terrible at submission letters, cover letters, you name it. The ONLY reason my first book ever sold was the the writing was up to snuff (after a LOT or rejections and revisions!). I'm grateful to editors who skip my crappy cover letters and just read the story! ;)

EarlyBird
05-15-2014, 09:10 PM
If your big reveal is more than 10 pages in, then you may want to consider a restructuring.

This is exactly what she told me, and gave me some advice on exactly where to start. [So helpful!]

Of course, knowing where to begin and doing it well are two different animals...

Old Hack
05-15-2014, 09:45 PM
I read a lot of slush and most of the time--other editors do this, too--I skip the submission letter. If the writers can engage me cold, then they're more likely to make a sale.

I used to do this too. It's common, I think. And you're right: if the writer can't grab an editor's attention with her opening, she's not going to grab a reader's.

Dreity
05-15-2014, 09:54 PM
Gosh, I am so torn. Maybe I drank too much tea this morning, but I'm sick to my stomach thinking about this and I haven't even submitted anything! She's exactly the kind of person I'd want to look at my work, but I don't know if the timing is right. I feel like I should keep plugging away at my current draft instead of trying to beat my opening into shape for the nth time, especially since I've already lost a lot of forward momentum lately but...P.N. Elrod! At a lower hourly rate than my just-above-bottom-rung retail job! And actually, I am in a good place to donate quite a bit more than the minimum, which I absolutely would want to do.

I really want a brick to the face. But this brick? At this time?

thothguard51
05-16-2014, 12:01 AM
If you have not finished the draft and gone through at lease one edit, then no, you are not ready for this type of critique...

Why? Because you are not even sure of the opening until you finish a novel and have gone through it to make sure its the best you can make it at the current time...

Hope that makes sense...

Lauram6123
05-16-2014, 12:05 AM
Gosh, I am so torn. Maybe I drank too much tea this morning, but I'm sick to my stomach thinking about this and I haven't even submitted anything! She's exactly the kind of person I'd want to look at my work, but I don't know if the timing is right. I feel like I should keep plugging away at my current draft instead of trying to beat my opening into shape for the nth time, especially since I've already lost a lot of forward momentum lately but...P.N. Elrod! At a lower hourly rate than my just-above-bottom-rung retail job! And actually, I am in a good place to donate quite a bit more than the minimum, which I absolutely would want to do.

I really want a brick to the face. But this brick? At this time?

It's not a brick. She says that, but its not. It's a honest look at your work with corrections and suggestions.

Go back and look at this thread at the people who have gotten their critiques back. No one quit writing. No one became despondent. In fact I think everyone is happy that they did it. I know I am. I was scared to death, but I was proud of myself when I hit the send button, and even prouder when it came back and I could implement her corrections.

Now, when I send out my first few pages with my queries, I think HA...they've been professionally edited by PN Elrod.

Seriously. I think you should do it!

EarlyBird
05-16-2014, 01:00 AM
I agree with the above post. There was no brick in the face, just some pretty darn good constructive advice. Really good advice. I half-expected her to tell me that my writing sucked and the only thing I should ever pen is my name, but it wasn't like that at all.

Dreity
05-16-2014, 01:36 AM
Alright, so I printed the first 2.5k. Read it out loud. Plan to attack it with a red pen over the next couple days. It's been about a year since I last tinkered with it, and I already see several ways I can fix it on my own. Depending on how that goes, I might send it. If I have an epiphany and decide that all the coats of polish in the world won't make this the right starting place, then I'll probably just buy a Tardis tote for my mom instead. :tongue

Medievalist
05-16-2014, 04:36 AM
I really want a brick to the face. But this brick? At this time?

I can not imagine, ever, in any way, Ms. Elrod engaging a brick and a face. At all.

She's honest; she's not mean. She's also someone whose professional reputation as an editor is solid, as is a reputation for kindness.

I'd stop agonizing, and either do or do not, but remember your text isn't you. It's a made thing.

Chekurtab
05-16-2014, 06:10 AM
Mine went in on March 26. I heard back on May 13th with a detailed comment about my submission. It was a really tough one, as warned, but the best I've gotten. It's sending me back to the drawing board, but in a way I suspected I'd have to go if I wanted to not self-publish. An agent might have a query letter, but if those first few pages don't do the job, you're not in the door. That's the feedback you're getting. You might not agree with it, but this is not your best buddy's opinion, it's a totally honest take by someone who's been around the block a few times. Totally worth it. And the wait? For the quality of what I got? Absolutely reasonable.

This is encouraging. The queue is moving. Any minute now... ):

tko
05-16-2014, 06:53 AM
An experienced reader can spot the genre, tropes, and standards with just a few paragraphs. Second nature.

Don't count on your blurb to orient the reader. Let your writing stand on it's own.


But Ms. Elrod doesn't require a short sentence or two to indicate what a story is about. I'm wondering if that puts the writer at a slight disadvantage, with Ms. Elrod plunging headfirst into a story and knowing nothing about it. ?

J. Marks
05-16-2014, 08:30 AM
An experienced reader can spot the genre, tropes, and standards with just a few paragraphs. Second nature.

Don't count on your blurb to orient the reader. Let your writing stand on it's own.
Yeah, I think I know what she'll be telling me. Among other things, I'll have to move up my reveal. Better roll up my sleeves and start now. :tongue

sheadakota
05-17-2014, 12:37 AM
Well if she was doing these in order of when she got them, mine must have gotten lost. *sigh* I really would have loved the crit before send this out on submission. I also would like to donate to fluffy but she won't take any donations unless she has done a crit.

I did email her to ask if it got lost and there was no hurry if it was simply backlogged but I have not received a reply. I did receive an initial confirmation email.

Oh well, it was a nice thought. anyone else send theirs in on or around march 23rd and not heard back yet? If you have i guess I'll just assume she lost it and send my submission in.

Jaycee Young
05-17-2014, 01:40 AM
Sheadakota, I think that there's a whole bunch of us who haven't received their critiques back, yet. Perplexing that EarlyBird got her's done and she sent it on April 9th---but reading through this thread--it looks like there are a lot of people (like you) who sent theirs the last couple of weeks in March and haven't received theirs back, yet. I sent mine April 6th and I'm still waiting, too. I noticed that she wrote on her FB page that she completed ten of them--most likely last weekend. Sooooo, hopefully this weekend she will do another ten and I would think that yours will be part of that bunch. Well, let us know if you hear back from her. :Shrug:

thothguard51
05-17-2014, 02:18 AM
Patience people, patience...

Gillhoughly
05-17-2014, 07:01 AM
I wouldn't count on it. Her Facebook page has her at Dallas Comic Con as a dealer. She's probably got her hands full this weekend.

I looked at the stats for this thread, and it's had more than 7 thousand people looking in. Some are going to be repeats, so imagine that if only a tiny fraction of those AW members sent things in and she can only get to a couple a day, it's going to be as slow as sending something to any publisher.

OTOH, the crit will tell you what needs fixing, but all you get from a publisher is a comment-free rejection.

I don't think she's going to skip anyone who sends something in, she's highly motivated to raise money for that vet bill, after all! ;)

Gillhoughly
05-17-2014, 08:12 AM
Well if she was doing these in order of when she got them, mine must have gotten lost. *sigh* I really would have loved the crit before send this out on submission. I also would like to donate to fluffy but she won't take any donations unless she has done a crit.

I did email her to ask if it got lost and there was no hurry if it was simply backlogged but I have not received a reply. I did receive an initial confirmation email.

Oh well, it was a nice thought. anyone else send theirs in on or around march 23rd and not heard back yet? If you have i guess I'll just assume she lost it and send my submission in.

One thing to consider is it might have gotten deleted by accident, sent to the wrong file or be in a spam folder and forgotten. If she got in a whole bunch of subs at once lots of things can go wrong.

My number one thing to go wrong is sending a story in an attached file and then forgetting to attach the file. (DUH!)

If she's up to the end of March, then you should contact her again, just in case. Mention the name of your story and when you originally sent it. That's the sort of thing you do with an acquistions editor after a reasonable wait. If you somehow got overlooked--or if she sent your feedback to the wrong email address (I've done that too)--then I'm sure she'd want to make things right.

Just don't give up before finding out what's going on. It could be some silly tech error.

Some years back I was trying to get emails to a co-writer and he just wasn't replying. I finally phoned him, got the addy direct and tried again. Another fail.

I finally worked out that his mail carrier had a funky weird way of spelling an otherwise ordinary name. Everyone knew about it but me. (Duh, again!) My co-writer wasn't snubbing me, I just had a spelling issue!

sheadakota
05-17-2014, 05:06 PM
Yeah, my thoughts exactly. I did contact her with the name of the submission and when it was sent in. She has not replied. Checked all my filters too. I don't want to be a pain about it though.

Edited: I did email her again simply because if she has sent a criit and I didn't get it then she thinks I'm one of her deadbeat authors! Yikes!

Gringa
05-17-2014, 08:22 PM
I bet she's busy, piled high.

Hendo
05-17-2014, 09:33 PM
Patience people, patience...
This ^

Deep breaths everyone. Just because one person got his before others doesn't mean she skipped or lost weeks worth of submissions. I sent mine in on April 9th as well and I have yet to hear anything. If more people who submitted after the 9th were posting then maybe I'd scratch my head a little... but until then, he's an exception. Maybe it was a mistake because his name looked similar to the author of another submission or something like that.
So, personally, I'd avoid poking her with emails at the risk of annoying her more than she already is with the non-payment people.

Carmen Baxter
05-18-2014, 12:46 AM
I asked her to review two different books. For the first, my latest, she offered a couple of really good suggestions.

She struggled with the second, the first book I ever wrote, because she didn't know what she was looking at. I mean sure, how do you review five pages of blah? :-) Weird thing, the first few pages have always bugged me because they were blah. Then my MC's emotions were OTT. And my sidekick, the best friend a girl could ever want, came across as a lech. Oh no. Finally, my MC was weak.

She was totally right. Not only did her reviews inadvertently confirm how far I've come as a writer between my first and the latest book, she also put in motion a complete overhaul of book no.1. Because her advice applied to the WHOLE book. I mean, how insightful is that?

So yes, she's awesome. And I'm so glad in a small way my money helped her out, too.

Rusty
05-19-2014, 11:52 AM
Having read the website info, there is one thing that bothers me a little about the procedure.

An agent will have the query, and a bookstore customer will have the jacket blurb. Even a beta reader will probably have a paragraph or two that gives them the gist of a story. But Ms. Elrod doesn't require a short sentence or two to indicate what a story is about. I'm wondering if that puts the writer at a slight disadvantage, with Ms. Elrod plunging headfirst into a story and knowing nothing about it. My big reveal doesn't happen in the first few pages, but an agent/reader/beta will know where the story is headed. Ms. Elrod won't have this information, and I can envision her thinking 'WTF?!'. Then I get the brick.

Am I wrong to be a little concerned, or am I completely clueless about how editors normally work?

Just wanted to add, Ms Elrod does seem to offer a permanent critique service where she requests a synopsis:

http://www.vampwriter.com/VAMPWRITER_Critique.htm

The max word count is 2000, and it's not strictly part of the Fuzzy Fund, but it's still money for Ms Elrod, so it's all good. Rates are about the same, and maybe Ms Elrod will accept an additional 'tip' for Fuzzy.

Jaycee Young
05-19-2014, 06:32 PM
That's true that Ms. Elrod does not offer a "synopsis type" of critique service, but Larry Brooks does for a reasonable price.
http://storyfix.com/ (http://storyfix.com/)
I sent him my synopsis and I'm waiting on his critique of my manuscript. His reviews seem good.

Gillhoughly
05-20-2014, 04:34 AM
That's true that Ms. Elrod does not offer a "synopsis type" of critique service, but Larry Brooks does for a reasonable price.
http://storyfix.com/ (http://storyfix.com/)
I sent him my synopsis and I'm waiting on his critique of my manuscript. His reviews seem good.

What are his prices?

J.Emerson
05-20-2014, 04:42 AM
My turn for the brick. The email I got yesterday said the wait is nearly four weeks now. So she must have submissions out the wazoo.

cwschizzy
05-20-2014, 04:46 AM
If I hadn't found so many ideas for other stories in the interstice for my critique, I'd be a little cross. I'm glad I have something to tide me over for now. Patience is best when you don't have to focus on it.

Hendo
05-20-2014, 06:47 AM
What are his prices?

he has most of them listed here http://storyfix.com/manuscript-analysis

They seem to run from as "little" as $50 for an analysis of the conceptual core of your story up to $1800 for a 400page manuscript. The $400 for the first quarter of your work looks appealing. But one big thing here... I've never heard of this dude :) ...in spite of his numerous listed accolades. P.Elrod on the other hand is someone I knew of before even getting into writing.

Reziac
05-20-2014, 07:05 AM
...in spite of his numerous listed accolades. P.Elrod on the other hand is someone I knew of before even getting into writing.

Having just now peered at his "Look Inside" sample on Amazon... it didn't grab me. Conversely I've wound up sucked into several of Elrod's even tho it's not what I'd normally read.

Old Hack
05-20-2014, 09:17 AM
If I hadn't found so many ideas for other stories in the interstice for my critique, I'd be a little cross. I'm glad I have something to tide me over for now. Patience is best when you don't have to focus on it.

Elrod is providing excellent critiques for bargain prices, so of course there's going to be a wait. While I understand your eagerness to receive your critique, I don't see what you'd have to be cross about.

Let's appreciate the opportunity Elrod is giving us all, and not start carping.

Gillhoughly
05-20-2014, 11:27 AM
But one big thing here... I've never heard of this dude :) ...in spite of his numerous listed accolades.

That is a big thing, considering that recently Lee Goldberg outed a faker with false credits (http://www.leegoldberg.com/james-strauss-fake-writing-credits/).

That doesn't mean this guy is a fake, of course, but it's easy enough to do basic online research to verify things. Match the name and the IP address or whatever one does to make sure it's not some imposter using his name. Crazier things have happened. (Goldberg's faker claims he worked for the CIA, but was that before or after he embezzled 400K from a teacher's retirement fund? Before or after he went to jail? http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/icons/icon10.gif )

Is this other guy qualified to critique multiple genres? Elrod has a ton of limits on what she looks at, but seems to have a wide range of experience both as a writer and an editor. He's written some thrillers, but can he critique fantasy, romance, YA, etc.?

I guess if you're a thriller writer he's made to order, but it'll cost you 50 to find out whether your "conceptual core" is solid or not. He uses a lot of big words that sound impressive, but the working writers I know don't use those terms. ("Coaching Document?" WTF is that?)

Is there a thread about this guy here on AW? I'm too tired to check.

I will point out that paying 1800 for a full MS critique is probably not a cost that can be recouped by a book sale later on should you get an offer from a publisher. The advance for a debut writer is depressingly small. With some e-publishers paying in royalties only, it's non-existent.

It all comes down to what you're comfortable with and what you're willing to pay. For my money, there's FREE feedback right here on AW, and it can be priceless! http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/icons/icon12.gif

Smeasking
05-21-2014, 10:26 AM
I FINALLY GOT MINE TODAY! Sorry that's all in caps. I was just excited, lol. :)

I submitted on 4/25/14 and found it in my email box today. Yay! First off, lemme just say that I sent my horrible first draft off to her--the one that got torn to shreds here in SYW. I should've have sent her a revised intro (after) I got everyone's crits in here, lol. *But I had that newbie excitement going on, and was hasty.

Much of what she said was what I already learned here in the forum (after I sent it), but aside from stuff "I already knew was coming" she gave me a lot of insight as to what to work on that nobody else even noticed. She was direct, to the point, funny in her commentary, and all the stuff she crossed out with her "red pen" gave incredible examples of how to tighten up my work.

She gave me lots of encouragement and even suggestions of what craft materials I might want to look into--a couple of those titles, I already bought recently, lol. So at least I know I'm on the right track.

The other neat thing is that, although she had lots of comments and strike-out marks in red, she also points out what you're doing right--so not everything was unsalvageable. I was really expecting her to strike out just about everything, so was happy that some of it was acceptable. Especially being my first draft.

I gave a $50 donation, cuz that's all I could give at the moment, but her crit was well worth the wait--and worth much more than the amount I donated. :)

Lauram6123
05-21-2014, 03:43 PM
She gave me lots of encouragement and even suggestions of what craft materials I might want to look into--a couple of those titles, I already bought recently, lol. So at least I know I'm on the right track.


That's great to hear! What titles did she recommend to you?

sheadakota
05-21-2014, 04:45 PM
Patience people, patience...

sorry didn't mean to sound impatient. I was simply curious.

Rusty
05-21-2014, 04:56 PM
I FINALLY GOT MINE TODAY! Sorry that's all in caps. I was just excited, lol. :)

I submitted on 4/25/14 and found it in my email box today. Yay! First off, lemme just say that I sent my horrible first draft off to her--the one that got torn to shreds here in SYW. I should've have sent her a revised intro (after) I got everyone's crits in here, lol. *But I had that newbie excitement going on, and was hasty.


Much of what she said was what I already learned here in the forum (after I sent it), but aside from stuff "I already knew was coming" she gave me a lot of insight as to what to work on that nobody else even noticed. She was direct, to the point, funny in her commentary, and all the stuff she crossed out with her "red pen" gave incredible examples of how to tighten up my work.

AWESOME! Really happy for you! That's less than a month, pretty darn good turnaround time IMO. I'd actually submitted 27 March and then withdrew it from her queue 4 May because I reread my submission and it made me want to claw my eyes out, haha. She was totally cool with it :)

I'm intrigued by the insights she gave you that you didn't get from SYW - do you think it would've made much of a difference whether you had submitted the revised version? Would it really have benefited you that much more?

I ask because I also posted the beginning of my WIP on SYW (after I fixed it up so I didn't want to claw my eyes out quite so much, haha), and I got a lot of amazingly constructive feedback from AWers that has helped me to not only revise my beginning, but given me better tools with which to progress my WIP.

So on the one hand, I want to wait until after I've finished my WIP so I can submit a more polished version to Ms Elrod. On the other hand, I also want to benefit from her insight as soon as possible so that I can take her advice on board while I work on my WIP. Does that make sense? Especially now that lead time seems to have reduced :)

Wilde_at_heart
05-21-2014, 06:28 PM
I FINALLY GOT MINE TODAY! Sorry that's all in caps. I was just excited, lol. :)

I submitted on 4/25/14 and found it in my email box today.

I'm getting a bit worried... I'd sent mine two weeks before you (and got the acknowledgment of receipt) and haven't heard. If she's busy and missed on or two, that's perfectly fine, but I certainly wouldn't want her to think I'd received it, and not paid up!.

inkspatters
05-21-2014, 06:45 PM
I subbed on the 31st of March, so I'm slightly worried about that, too. But! Given that several people here who submitted in late March also haven't gotten their critique, I suspect that she's simply doing a few of them out of order.

I might check in in a week or two, though, just to make sure that nothing's gone astray.

Jaycee Young
05-21-2014, 07:40 PM
Sheadakota, I think that there's a whole bunch of us who haven't received their critiques back, yet. Perplexing that EarlyBird got her's done and she sent it on April 9th---but reading through this thread--it looks like there are a lot of people (like you) who sent theirs the last couple of weeks in March and haven't received theirs back, yet. I sent mine April 6th and I'm still waiting, too. I noticed that she wrote on her FB page that she completed ten of them--most likely last weekend. Sooooo, hopefully this weekend she will do another ten and I would think that yours will be part of that bunch. Well, let us know if you hear back from her. :Shrug:
Baffling that she's done a couple out of order now--it's like she's skipped a couple of weeks worth. Hmm....

Gillhoughly
05-21-2014, 07:40 PM
This just turned up on her Facebook page and might explain the delays and out of order stuff:

https://www.facebook.com/p.n.elrod/posts/10152075053876434


If you send a query asking if your sub was lost, DO IT IN A SEPARATE EMAIL FROM THE ORIGINAL SUBMISSION.

Include the title and date you sent it in.

WHY?

Because if you use the original submission it will get SHIFTED TO THE BACK OF THE LINE. My email won't let me move it back to its original place. You will lose your spot in the queue! Your March or April sub gets reset to May!


Yikes! :gaah

Jaycee Young
05-21-2014, 07:49 PM
What are his prices?
Sorry, Gillhoughly, didn't mean to ignore you, but looking back at subsequent posts, I guess others answered you. I paid $195 for his comprehensive critiquing of my synopsis. I read some of his critiques of writers' works and I feel comfortable with his feedback. Gee--I'll let you know when I receive his critique of my synopsis--I guess I'll just have to wait and see if I think it's worth what I paid for it.

Is your name in reference to the John Wayne movie, Donovan's Reef? I remember that movie from the 60's (?). Cool movie set in Hawaii if I remember correctly. I envy you if that's where you're located.

onesecondglance
05-21-2014, 08:06 PM
This just turned up on her Facebook page and might explain the delays and out of order stuff:

https://www.facebook.com/p.n.elrod/posts/10152075053876434



Yikes! :gaah

The perils of "conversation view" on email programs.

sheadakota
05-21-2014, 08:57 PM
I did get mine yesterday for those keeping track.

Wilde_at_heart
05-21-2014, 09:30 PM
I redacted some parts, but this is what she sent to me (copied with permission):


...I don't know how many subs have been sent in total, I'm afraid to count! It is a LOT, certainly more than 60, perhaps as many as 100 with more coming in each day.

Everyone who has gotten the form letter reply will get a critique in their turn.

Please let people in the AW forums know that if they send a "is my submission lost?" query in reply to that form letter that my email "resets" their submission's place to the BACK of the line.

If they want to send a query without losing their place, it needs to be in a separate email that includes the name and date of the submission.

...

Other submissions have lost their place in line and that's probably why some April subs have been jumped forward while the March ones are still waiting.

I apologize for the limits of my email software, but it won't let me shift such queries back to their original place.

I will get to everyone as quickly as I can. I didn't expect to have such a massive response. It's wonderful, but overwhelming. Fuzzy and I are very grateful, though!

You can copy and paste this mail if it will help get the word out.

Sincerely,

P.N. Elrod

jhtatroe
05-21-2014, 10:02 PM
Well crap. Back of the line for me.

Chekurtab
05-22-2014, 07:05 AM
I did get mine yesterday for those keeping track.

Congrats! The line moves in mysterious ways, but it moves!

MegOverman
05-22-2014, 07:18 AM
For those who are tracking: I submitted March 27th and got mine back today.

I'm pretty thrilled with it - a couple great pieces of advice I hope to use in my upcoming edits. She was even kind enough to suggest an agency. It made me squee and do all the daydreamy things I really shouldn't be doing yet. And now, back to work...

Smeasking
05-22-2014, 07:55 AM
That's great to hear! What titles did she recommend to you?

Elements of Style by Strunk & White - which I actually bought last weekend, lol, after it was suggested in Stephen King's "On Writing," which I read the Friday prior.

Save the Cat, which is about script writing, but also helps with structure and pacing.

A Confederacy of Dunces, for vivid character building.

She also said any "How to" book by Lawrence Block is writer's gold. :)

Smeasking
05-22-2014, 08:41 AM
AWESOME! Really happy for you! That's less than a month, pretty darn good turnaround time IMO. I'd actually submitted 27 March and then withdrew it from her queue 4 May because I reread my submission and it made me want to claw my eyes out, haha. She was totally cool with it :)

I'm intrigued by the insights she gave you that you didn't get from SYW - do you think it would've made much of a difference whether you had submitted the revised version? Would it really have benefited you that much more?

I ask because I also posted the beginning of my WIP on SYW (after I fixed it up so I didn't want to claw my eyes out quite so much, haha), and I got a lot of amazingly constructive feedback from AWers that has helped me to not only revise my beginning, but given me better tools with which to progress my WIP.

So on the one hand, I want to wait until after I've finished my WIP so I can submit a more polished version to Ms Elrod. On the other hand, I also want to benefit from her insight as soon as possible so that I can take her advice on board while I work on my WIP. Does that make sense? Especially now that lead time seems to have reduced :)

Hiya Rusty!

I thought about withdrawing mine, but glad I didn't. She just echoed/reaffirmed some of what the AWers told me, but like I said, she gives plenty of extra insight on top of it. I'm also probably going to change my tense back from present tense to the previous tense I used. (I had converted my entire first chapter to present tense just off of AW crit, but I'm going to change it back.) *With that said, it's always best to provide your absolute "best" work, if possible, when submitting. So it's probably a good thing that you thought twice about it, because now you've benefitted from AW crits and can submit something better than what you would have originally sent her. :)

AWers have given me nothing but great feedback--not always what one "hopes to hear" but a lot of great things to consider, and have opened my eyes to a lot of things I never thought of while writing. Granted, I know now--without a doubt--that I did pretty darn good for being a complete amateur, managing to finish an entire novel in the short time that I did.

I second-guessed myself a lot after joining this forum, wondering if my work was crap, just because I wrote it so quickly. So many people in here are world building, researching, plotting, outlining and all that. I did none of that. I just wrote. Yet so many others have been working on one story for a long time--in some cases, years. So what's wrong with me? Why did it come so easy? It really made me doubt myself. But now I know that everyone is just different, and approaches writing in their own way.

On a good note, I had enough people read my story from beginning to end (both male and female) ages 30-55 to let me know my "story" is good; enough to make them look forward to the second one in my trilogy. :) Now I just have to backtrack and learn the proper mechanics of "how" a book is written, things like: grammar (especially, lol), paragraph structuring, word count in chapter lengths--stuff like that. All the things that will make my "diamond in the rough" shine. Like everyone in AW says, it doesn't matter how good your story is, if the first 2.5k of your work doesn't grab the prospective agent or publisher who reads it--because they won't take the time to read the rest, just to find out. So that first line, first paragraph, first chapter is key.

P.N. gave lots of nifty advice. I'm not going to post anything new in SYW until I'm confident that I've grasped what she, and my new reading materials have taught me. So... I may be absent from the forum for awhile. Will be busy studying and tweaking things in my novel. I'm really excited about it! :)

Good luck with your works!

Rusty
05-22-2014, 04:00 PM
Hiya Sox,

Thanks for the detailed reply! I think I shall finish my WIP and try to send my most polished beginning to Ms Elrod :)

This is just my hypothesis, but some people have a story in them that's bursting to be told. Those people tend to write quickly to get it down on paper, and then they spend more time on revision. Other people don't necessarily have a story inside of them, but they might have a scene, or elements they want to write about, so they have to do a lot more prep in order to nudge the story into being. It sounds like you're in the first camp, and that's great! I am definitely of the latter camp. Sometimes I wish I weren't, but I've kind of accepted that, at least for this novel, things are going to go pretty slowly. I just have to put more hours into it to compensate. Also pretty sure that my revision process will also be hella long :p

I think you also have to remember that, whatever feedback you got, at least you got some. I personally don't crit something unless it's made me care, or I think the author has potential; it's not worth my time otherwise.

Thanks for the luck, good luck to you too!

PS: Confederacy of Dunces is AMAZING. I frequently had to put it down because the descriptions were too overwhelmingly brilliant. I respect Ms Elrod even more now, knowing that she'd rec that book for character building.

MythMonger
05-22-2014, 04:45 PM
I redacted some parts, but this is what she sent to me (copied with permission):
Everyone who has gotten the form letter reply will get a critique in their turn.

Uh-oh. I sent mine in some six weeks ago and never got a form letter reply. Did everyone here who submitted receive that reply?

Rusty
05-22-2014, 06:31 PM
Uh-oh. I sent mine in some six weeks ago and never got a form letter reply. Did everyone here who submitted receive that reply?

I got the form reply the day after I sent my submission...

Also, I see that Ms Elrod had made her old critique page obsolete (the link I shared earlier in this thread where she asks for a synopsis), and has updated the CRITIQUE guidelines to say that she no longer accepts raw first drafts. It's as though she's been reading my mind :p

Gringa
05-22-2014, 08:54 PM
Sent mine March 29th, just got it back.

Very pleasant.

Good luck to everyone!

Medievalist
05-22-2014, 09:22 PM
The current P. N. Elrod critique page is here:

http://www.vampwriter.com/CRITIQUE.htm

endearing
05-23-2014, 03:56 AM
Uh-oh. I sent mine in some six weeks ago and never got a form letter reply. Did everyone here who submitted receive that reply?

Yep, I got my form reply shortly after I submitted my chapter.

fredXgeorge
05-23-2014, 04:38 AM
Uh-oh. I sent mine in some six weeks ago and never got a form letter reply. Did everyone here who submitted receive that reply?
I got mine the same day I submitted.

Bing Z
05-23-2014, 04:51 AM
Uh-oh. I sent mine in some six weeks ago and never got a form letter reply. Did everyone here who submitted receive that reply?

I also haven't gotten any form reply from her. Are we doomed?

Reziac
05-23-2014, 05:11 AM
Are you on Yahoo mail? Yahoo sometimes just EATS mail, in or out.

milkweed
05-23-2014, 05:56 AM
Guys, question... I've got mine almost ready to go, but I'm worried about one thing and wanted to ask here.

Reading here (http://www.vampwriter.com/CRITIQUE.htm) she has a list of things she doesn't want to read. One of them is "ANY story where a child is harmed/bullied."

Combining 'harmed' with 'bullied' makes me think that it means she doesn't want to see children as victims -- of either harm or bullying. Which makes sense.

But she does read YA, and a lot of YA has children (the protagonists) being 'harmed' at some point. Maybe the YA protagonist is out to save his best friend's life and breaks his ankle when he trips grabbing his arm as he falls off a cliff, etc. That's "harm," but it's not the same as a child being a victim.

My story starts off with the YA protagonist leading a monster (it's fantasy) to an abandoned town in order to capture/kill it for a bounty. It's a danger to her town. She gets in a fight with it and gets hurt, though she wins and is not treated like a victim.

Does anyone know if that's the sort of thing PN Elrod doesn't want to read? Because I won't send it if so.

I was just confused by putting harmed/bullied together as one, and the use of "child" when children are protagonists in YA novels where presumably some version of harm will eventually befall them.

Thanks all.

I had the same questions and just decided not to submit, while my book isn't YA there are kids running amuck in my book and a couple of them get accidentally killed off due to not paying attention to their surroundings... nature can be cruel, to those not paying attention, in a post apocolytic world!

Smeasking
05-23-2014, 09:49 AM
Hiya Sox,

Thanks for the detailed reply! I think I shall finish my WIP and try to send my most polished beginning to Ms Elrod :)

This is just my hypothesis, but some people have a story in them that's bursting to be told. Those people tend to write quickly to get it down on paper, and then they spend more time on revision. Other people don't necessarily have a story inside of them, but they might have a scene, or elements they want to write about, so they have to do a lot more prep in order to nudge the story into being. It sounds like you're in the first camp, and that's great! I am definitely of the latter camp. Sometimes I wish I weren't, but I've kind of accepted that, at least for this novel, things are going to go pretty slowly. I just have to put more hours into it to compensate. Also pretty sure that my revision process will also be hella long :p

I think you also have to remember that, whatever feedback you got, at least you got some. I personally don't crit something unless it's made me care, or I think the author has potential; it's not worth my time otherwise.

Thanks for the luck, good luck to you too!

PS: Confederacy of Dunces is AMAZING. I frequently had to put it down because the descriptions were too overwhelmingly brilliant. I respect Ms Elrod even more now, knowing that she'd rec that book for character building.

I had never even heard of Ms Elrod before all this, but now I definitely have a lot of respect for her. I'm probably going to look up some of her works. :)

Honestly, I was waiting for a major brick in the face, and was shocked when it wasn't as bad as I expected. Don't get me wrong--she's tough and I still have a lot of work to do, but she was very objective. Well, I'm sure she has "some" bias based upon her tastes of subject matter--which is why she won't crit certain things--but it's certainly different from some of the crits in this forum. A lot of the crits in here are subjective (based on personal taste, preference, and various levels of knowledge), as opposed to objective. She gave me concrete tips to improve upon what I have, as opposed to telling me I should scrap it and start over, like some folks had advised. (Glad I was stubborn and didn't listen to that advice anyway, lol).

Another positive thing was that some of what she found to be okay in my story contradicted what others in SYW had said, so I'm going to change some other things back to their original versions as well. From now on I'm going to look at all crits as just an alternate POV of how something could be written, but am going to continue to trust my gut instincts the rest of the way. All in all, having an unbiased crit is invaluable. And since Ms Elrod has been in the business for so long, she's able to give great objective feedback based on industry standards and from her professional experience as an editor; and I am grateful for her insight. In my case, I thought mine was worse than it was, lol. I'm not an individual who gives in to praise as easily as I should; I'm more the type who waits for the "but" that comes after the compliment. And even if there is no proverbial "rain" that falls on my parade, I'm still a perfectionist who always strives to do the best I can possibly do--and then works even harder to top that. It's just the way I'm wired, I guess. Most people who know me, tend to tell me I'm beyond being a perfectionist; they say I'm someone who will never be satisfied with my own work, no matter what it is. A song. A poem. A drawing--or in this case, a story. But, I suppose there could be worse traits to have, lol. :)

Anyway, I hope you have fun writing/revising and I'm sure that whatever you end up submitting, Ms Elrod will have some great advice for you.

*In the meantime, definitely go through SYW and read/crit a few. I know you mentioned that you can't crit "unless you care, or if you think that author has potential" but that's the wrong way to look at it. Reading other works will give you a better understanding of your own WIP. (I'm completely serious!) By simply reading and being able to spot things that don't flow right, words that sound off, or find too many words jumbled in a single paragraph--in a sense, you learn what "not to do." In another sense, when something works and just grabs you, or is an easy read, you learn what works and can apply that to your own writing. Also, reading through other members critiques, you'll learn to pick out what's subjective as opposed to what's really objective, and you learn important tidbits from that as well. So honestly, if you look at critting in that way, it'll help you in more ways than expected. Plus, being involved and supporting others in this forum, you'll find that folks will do the same for you. :)

AW is one big support group--part fun and wacky at times, and tough love when needed--to help us all on our journey as writers. But it's a give and take relationship. Help others openly, and others will always be happy to help you in return. It'll make you a better writer (and individual) all around. At least, in my opinion. :)

Medievalist
05-23-2014, 10:00 AM
I had never even heard of Ms Elrod before all this, but now I definitely have a lot of respect for her. I'm probably going to look up some of her works. :)

Two things I especially like about her writing:

1) She totally gets the way plot and story combine to create narrative lust, that compulsion to read in order to discover What Happens Next.

2) She's a great hand at dialog; that is, her characters talk, they talk believably, and they sound like themselves, not like the author.

Rusty
05-23-2014, 11:12 AM
Heyo!



Another positive thing was that some of what she found to be okay in my story contradicted what others in SYW had said, so I'm going to change some other things back to their original versions as well. From now on I'm going to look at all crits as just an alternate POV of how something could be written, but am going to continue to trust my gut instincts the rest of the way. All in all, having an unbiased crit is invaluable. And since Ms Elrod has been in the business for so long, she's able to give great objective feedback based on industry standards and from her professional experience as an editor; and I am grateful for her insight.

I'm glad you got so much out of her crit! I've noticed that most AWers (at least the ones who posted on this thread) have taken her crit well, and I think that's a sign of AWers' self-awareness or maturity as writers. I do want to add that I don't think there's such a thing as 'objective' or 'unbiased' crit though. Of course Ms Elrod has skills and wisdom about the industry and may crit better than some AWers, but many AWers are pro writers and editors themselves, so their views can be just as valuable. Not dissing Ms Elrod in anyway, just a bit protective of AWers' crit, which is the best crit I've ever received in my (super short) writing experience. Ultimately, it's your story, and you have final say and accountability on your story :)



*In the meantime, definitely go through SYW and read/crit a few. I know you mentioned that you can't crit "unless you care, or if you think that author has potential" but that's the wrong way to look at it. Reading other works will give you a better understanding of your own WIP. (I'm completely serious!) By simply reading and being able to spot things that don't flow right, words that sound off, or find too many words jumbled in a single paragraph--in a sense, you learn what "not to do." In another sense, when something works and just grabs you, or is an easy read, you learn what works and can apply that to your own writing. Also, reading through other members critiques, you'll learn to pick out what's subjective as opposed to what's really objective, and you learn important tidbits from that as well. So honestly, if you look at critting in that way, it'll help you in more ways than expected. Plus, being involved and supporting others in this forum, you'll find that folks will do the same for you. :)

Oh, haha, I didn't mean to say that I don't critique! I crit quite a lot, probably more than the crits I have received. It's mostly in the SYW sections of YA, Children, and a bit of SFF. I think that a lot of the writing here is both interesting and well crafted. It's why I hang around ^_^

Smeasking
05-24-2014, 06:49 AM
Heyo!

Oh, haha, I didn't mean to say that I don't critique! I crit quite a lot, probably more than the crits I have received. It's mostly in the SYW sections of YA, Children, and a bit of SFF. I think that a lot of the writing here is both interesting and well crafted. It's why I hang around ^_^

Hehe, oh good! I'm glad to hear it. :)

Gillhoughly
05-26-2014, 08:54 PM
For those who sent stuff in March and got zip, Elrod is apparently aware of the problem. She just posted this on her FB page.

https://www.facebook.com/p.n.elrod/posts/10152084528511434


If you sent anything in March and haven't gotten a critique, contact me via the mystikmerchantrobes@gmail-dot-com address, giving the name of the submission and the date it was sent. Paste the submission into the body of the mail with the subject header: CRITIQUE / (genre) / story or novel) / TITLE

I'm doing these in the order they come in and there was such a huge response that there is a chance that some submissions went awry. I want to make that right! If I missed a March submission, let me know!
Looks like no one will be sent to the back of the line, so try, try again. http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/icons/icon10.gif

Also:


I've completed critiques sent in March and am starting on April submissions. And you don't have to pay more:


I uploaded a "grandfathered" donation page for those who sent submissions prior to May 12, 2014. When I complete a critique, I'll include the link to THAT page, not to the current page. You can only get to the grandfathered page via the link in my reply email to the critique.


The grandfathered page has the original minimum payment option of 10.00. Of course, if a writer can afford to / wants to give more in response to a crit, Fuzzy and I will gratefully accept. She will also be given a gentle hug, belly rub, and told she is a *good* girl each time a donation is made. She loves those!
Awwwww! :snoopy:

jhtatroe
05-27-2014, 01:33 AM
Thanks for the update! Seems like my critique is one that went astray, so I resubmitted according to her instructions.

Chekurtab
05-27-2014, 06:47 AM
I submitted April 1. I guess my critique is coming any minute now...
I'm really excited after hearing all the good things about Ms. Elrod in this thread.
I'll let all the April babies know when I receive mine. Also, is it possible for the folks to post their submission and Ms. Elrod's critique? I don't know if it's kosher, but it sure would be a great educational experience. Just a thought...

Cyia
05-27-2014, 06:56 AM
Also, is it possible for the folks to post their submission and Ms. Elrod's critique?


Not without permission. The words in the critique are property of Ms. Elrod, and she hasn't submitted them for public review and scrutiny. No matter the positive intent of such an exercise, it would inevitably devolve into disagreement over points brought up in the critique.

Gillhoughly
05-27-2014, 07:23 AM
Not without permission. The words in the critique are property of Ms. Elrod, and she hasn't submitted them for public review and scrutiny. No matter the positive intent of such an exercise, it would inevitably devolve into disagreement over points brought up in the critique.

Good point, Cyia. I'd look on it as the result of a private consultation, with emphasis on "private."

I've participated in a lot of workshops and the general consensus was "what's said in the workshop STAYS in the workshop."

Sounds like that should apply here.

Besides, I don't know of any writers, myself included, who would want to have their shredded work on display like a literary autopsy.

AW Admin
05-27-2014, 07:45 AM
Also, is it possible for the folks to post their submission and Ms. Elrod's critique? I don't know if it's kosher, but it sure would be a great educational experience. Just a thought...

Ms. Elrod would need to send the owner of AW (MacAllister) written permission to post the crit. Otherwise it is not kosher to post the crit.

Gillhoughly
05-27-2014, 08:58 AM
Not to gainsay, but it might be okay to give a general idea of how things went, like sharing titles of books she recommended. Someone mentioned King's book on writing, and a few others. But full on copy/pastes of a critique are not a good idea.

I tried to read that King book (I am not a fan) and it had all this endless autobiographical stuff in it and very little actual how-to for writing. I didn't find it at all useful, but others swear by it. If I'd had to buy it I'd have been swearing AT it! http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/icons/icon12.gif

MacAllister
05-27-2014, 09:21 AM
Not to gainsay, but it might be okay to give a general idea of how things went, like sharing titles of books she recommended. Someone mentioned King's book on writing, and a few others. But full on copy/pastes of a critique are not a good idea.

I tried to read that King book (I am not a fan) and it had all this endless autobiographical stuff in it and very little actual how-to for writing. I didn't find it at all useful, but others swear by it. If I'd had to buy it I'd have been swearing AT it! http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/icons/icon12.gif

Yep - just to clarify, I'm totally okay with what Gillhoughly has said above. And to reiterate what AW Admin posted: Folks just need to not post other people's actual and specific words unless I have explicit permission from the person in question. If you're not sure, feel free to PM me and simply ask. I'm always here. :)

If you want to post your OWN work, with a note like "P.N. Elrod suggested my characters all sound alike in the previous version -- here's a revision" or "P.N. Elrod liked this okay, but suggested that the Camaro shouldn't be baby-shit brown because it's just not a sexy color, what do YOU guys think?" then that would be okay.

The place to post those sorts of things would be SYW, but I have no objections to posting links here in this thread -- but I'd like to not see this conversation entirely derailed into "here! Look at my SYW stuff!" because it's serving a pretty useful function, as is.

Reziac
05-27-2014, 10:00 AM
Ms. Elrod would need to send the owner of AW (MacAllister) written permission to post the crit. Otherwise it is not kosher to post the crit.

Perhaps said AW owner could petition Ms.Elrod for blanket permission?? would ensure that everyone had permission, and folks here wouldn't need to individually pester the demonstrably-busy Ms.Elrod.

MacAllister
05-27-2014, 10:28 AM
I know if *I* was Ms. Elrod, I'd be deeply disinclined to grant such permission. And it very might well be that I'd be more inclined to refuse in some situations than in others, rendering "blanket permission" impractical.

So I'm gonna rule on that right here and now with a flat "Nope."

In fact, I'm just going to go one step further and say point blank that it's inappropriate to post other people's crits here, with or without their permission. So please do NOT inundate Ms. Elrod with email seeking such permission.

I'm just gonna circumvent that right now, and say "no" unilaterally, for many, many, MANY reasons.

The whole "I wanna quote something, here, that someone else said, elsewhere, in its entirety" is just a whole can of worms that we're going to bypass, okay?

Reziac
05-27-2014, 11:46 AM
Since someone's notion of sharing the crits came of the desire to co-learn from 'em, but since we're wormy enough as it is :eek: a useful alternative might be to post before-and-after versions: "Here's my crap I sent, and here's my edited-to-hopefully-not-so-crap after Ms.Elrod beat me over the head with a cluestick." Perhaps limited to the first 200 words per version, and all in one thread.

Thus we'd still see the same benefits, but without any 3rd party helminthicity.

onesecondglance
05-27-2014, 12:53 PM
Quoth Morpheus: "What was said was meant for you and you alone."

Old Hack
05-27-2014, 05:42 PM
Since someone's notion of sharing the crits came of the desire to co-learn from 'em, but since we're wormy enough as it is :eek: a useful alternative might be to post before-and-after versions: "Here's my crap I sent, and here's my edited-to-hopefully-not-so-crap after Ms.Elrod beat me over the head with a cluestick." Perhaps limited to the first 200 words per version, and all in one thread.

Thus we'd still see the same benefits, but without any 3rd party helminthicity.

I'm not a mod in this room or in SYW, so don't take my view as The Official Line here: but I think that this is not a good idea.

SYW isn't meant to be a place where we showcase the work of editors, it's a place where we go to get help improving our own work. If Ms Elrod wanted to hang out there, I'm sure she would.

Mac's already said that we mustn't post our critiques here, and I agree with her: it would be a bad idea for all sorts of reasons, as would posting our before-and-after versions.

Doing so would only showcase our abilities to respond to critiques. It wouldn't show how well Ms Elrod critiques (and I am certain, by the way, that she's a very perceptive editor and critique), and I see no value in doing so.

Gillhoughly
05-27-2014, 07:10 PM
Yeah, let's view a critique the same as a consultation with a doctor.

It should be a private thing. We can have a general idea, but no one wants to see the video of the exam.

I LOATHE when some proud codger wants to show off a surgery scar!

That happened to me once when casually chatting with some couple in a shopping mall. A SHOPPING MALL! They were strangers, I don't know how we fell to talking. Suddenly the woman (she was in a wheelchair) was about to haul her blouse up in public so I could see her fresh stitches. They thought I was rude when I ran off. Ugh! Ew!!

Hendo
05-27-2014, 08:28 PM
Since someone's notion of sharing the crits came of the desire to co-learn from 'em, but since we're wormy enough as it is :eek: a useful alternative might be to post before-and-after versions: "Here's my crap I sent, and here's my edited-to-hopefully-not-so-crap after Ms.Elrod beat me over the head with a cluestick." Perhaps limited to the first 200 words per version, and all in one thread.

Thus we'd still see the same benefits, but without any 3rd party helminthicity.


I'm not a mod in this room or in SYW, so don't take my view as The Official Line here: but I think that this is not a good idea.

SYW isn't meant to be a place where we showcase the work of editors, it's a place where we go to get help improving our own work. If Ms Elrod wanted to hang out there, I'm sure she would.

Mac's already said that we mustn't post our critiques here, and I agree with her: it would be a bad idea for all sorts of reasons, as would posting our before-and-after versions.

Doing so would only showcase our abilities to respond to critiques. It wouldn't show how well Ms Elrod critiques (and I am certain, by the way, that she's a very perceptive editor and critique), and I see no value in doing so.


I agree with Old Hack 100% Posting before and afters just without her comments strikes me as looking for a loophole to post her crit without physically posting it... if that makes any sense lol

bearilou
05-28-2014, 04:40 AM
Welp. I bit the bullet and sent something for critique.

*paces*

Chekurtab
05-28-2014, 06:03 AM
I know if *I* was Ms. Elrod, I'd be deeply disinclined to grant such permission. And it very might well be that I'd be more inclined to refuse in some situations than in others, rendering "blanket permission" impractical.

So I'm gonna rule on that right here and now with a flat "Nope."

In fact, I'm just going to go one step further and say point blank that it's inappropriate to post other people's crits here, with or without their permission. So please do NOT inundate Ms. Elrod with email seeking such permission.

I'm just gonna circumvent that right now, and say "no" unilaterally, for many, many, MANY reasons.

The whole "I wanna quote something, here, that someone else said, elsewhere, in its entirety" is just a whole can of worms that we're going to bypass, okay?

Sorry, I didn't mean to open that can of worms. But I kinda suspected this is not gonna fly. Thanks for clarifying.

Gillhoughly
06-05-2014, 06:48 AM
Looks like Elrod isn't accepting short stories any more. That's a bummer, but I can see why.

https://www.facebook.com/p.n.elrod/posts/10152101540341434

Down in the comments, she wrote:


I started out at 10 bucks, with alternative donations going up to 50.00. the idea is the author pays what the crit was worth to them.

Obviously a crit on a short story is going to be worth less to them than a crit on the start for a full blown novel--even when I spend as many hours on the story excerpt as I did for the novel excerpt.

So far the averages are helping. I'll get in a 10.00 donation and then a 50.00 one. But when I get a string of 10s in a row, usually for short stories, it's depressing. I could have used those hours on writing my own works.

I checked and she's updated the website page with "no short form works" on her Do not send" list.

jhtatroe
06-05-2014, 08:01 AM
Totally understandable. It's rough to work for a rate that makes you resent offering it. That's the path to burnout.

I'm still waiting on my critique from March, although I did resubmit according to her instructions.

Gillhoughly
06-05-2014, 08:18 AM
Did you check your spam folder or if your virus software blocked anything? Sometimes those block unfamiliar emails with attachments. I just read this on Facebook:


My email or firewall of virus protection blocks some types of emails. They don't wind up in the spam folder, they just are not allowed in.

jhtatroe
06-05-2014, 09:23 AM
Yeah, I checked my spam folder, don't have any server-side filtering, and added her to my VIP senders list. I'll definitely know when it comes.

…but there's always that little, nagging doubt.

I was one who initially queried with a reply and got buried, so I'm fairly certain I'm still in the queue, as she goes back over the stack of those of us who were lost.

Old Hack
06-05-2014, 10:12 AM
I read that same Facebook update, Gil, and noted that it seems some people still haven't paid Ms Elrod for the critiques they've received.

It's not on for people to take advantage of her in that way. I hope people are prompted to pay up.

Gillhoughly
06-05-2014, 10:29 AM
Yeah, I checked my spam folder, don't have any server-side filtering, and added her to my VIP senders list. I'll definitely know when it comes.

…but there's always that little, nagging doubt.

I was one who initially queried with a reply and got buried, so I'm fairly certain I'm still in the queue, as she goes back over the stack of those of us who were lost.

I don't remember, did you contact her again? Get any reply? If you've not heard back then another query is in order. She is infamous for being bad with tech stuff.

Gillhoughly
06-05-2014, 10:31 AM
I read that same Facebook update, Gil, and noted that it seems some people still haven't paid Ms Elrod for the critiques they've received.

It's not on for people to take advantage of her in that way. I hope people are prompted to pay up.

True, but it would be pretty awful if they weren't getting their feedback because of a screw up with email delivery. She might be sending stuff out that never arrives.

usuallycountingbats
06-05-2014, 01:23 PM
I read that same Facebook update, Gil, and noted that it seems some people still haven't paid Ms Elrod for the critiques they've received.

It's not on for people to take advantage of her in that way. I hope people are prompted to pay up.

Especially not when it's so cheap! I've said it before on this thread, but even $50 is very very cheap for 2-3hrs of skilled work. In my field (not writing) I have far fewer years experience than her and I charge more than that per hour as my basic rate - some stuff requires more experience and gets a higher rate.

$15 is nothing for this kind of feedback.

Cathy C
06-05-2014, 05:09 PM
Frankly, I'm surprised that she doesn't send an email to the person saying the critique is ready and wait for payment before delivering it. Call me cynical, but I've seen so many people burned. I remember once I donated a critique to the Brenda Novak auction and started work before I received notice that payment had been received. They contacted me, months later to say they'd never received payment. Since it was a charity, I requested that the writer pay and then they dropped off contact with me. :(

They did eventually pay, but it was nearly a year later. I felt bad for the charity people.

Now they don't send out the contact information for the winner to the donor of the auction item until payment has been received and any check is cleared. One year someone was the high bidder on dozens of items, just to win the big prize for the biggest donor. Unfortunately, they didn't actually have the money to pay for the auctions. Sad... <shakes head>

bearilou
06-05-2014, 05:14 PM
Especially not when it's so cheap! I've said it before on this thread, but even $50 is very very cheap for 2-3hrs of skilled work. In my field (not writing) I have far fewer years experience than her and I charge more than that per hour as my basic rate - some stuff requires more experience and gets a higher rate.

$15 is nothing for this kind of feedback.

Considering some sample critiques can cost upwards of hundreds of dollars? This is a steal and it's from a well known author/editor to boot?

I don't have a whole bunch of money but what I have is hers for this opportunity and all I know to do is send people I know who will pay her to her doorstep for this chance.

usuallycountingbats
06-05-2014, 05:27 PM
Considering some sample critiques can cost upwards of hundreds of dollars? This is a steal and it's from a well known author/editor to boot?

I don't have a whole bunch of money but what I have is hers for this opportunity and all I know to do is send people I know who will pay her to her doorstep for this chance.

We're saying the same thing, right? :)

bearilou
06-05-2014, 05:31 PM
We're saying the same thing, right? :)

yes. yes we are.

much deal. very please. such price. wow.

/looking at doge memes

onesecondglance
06-05-2014, 06:17 PM
For those wondering about emails going astray... perhaps message on Facebook? She appears to update the page fairly frequently, so that might work. Plus then there is no chance of your message getting lost twixt the cup and the lip.

jhtatroe
06-05-2014, 09:47 PM
I'm not on Facebook. Otherwise, that would be a good call. I'll query again if I don't hear anything soon-ish.

Gillhoughly
06-05-2014, 10:58 PM
For those wondering about emails going astray... perhaps message on Facebook? She appears to update the page fairly frequently, so that might work. Plus then there is no chance of your message getting lost twixt the cup and the lip.

Um, onesecondglance, are you sure you're not her, just incognito and yanking our chain? ;)

https://www.facebook.com/p.n.elrod/posts/10152102680081434

For the Facebook-avoiders (I don't blame you, it is a time-eater):



Argh! I seem to have some weird email problems. I went back several pages to March/April on the IN box to open more critique submissions and suddenly 3 submissions--unopened--magically appeared for March.

I am not amused. I thought I'd finished out March and I've been slowly churning my way through April.

I AM CAUGHT UP THROUGH APRIL 4 ON CRITIQUES. ANYONE WHO SENT A CRITIQUE BEFORE APRIL 4 HAS FEEDBACK.

If you sent a submission prior to April 4 and have not gotten your critique, CONTACT ME.
It means my mail lost your sub or a ravening cyberspace beast ate my reply in transit or my gmail is messing with us both. Argh, again.

jhtatroe
06-05-2014, 11:28 PM
Okay, if that's not a call to action, I don't know what is. I have queried, and now I will stop thinking about it and write.

onesecondglance
06-05-2014, 11:31 PM
Um, onesecondglance, are you sure you're not her, just incognito and yanking our chain? ;)

Crap, my cover's blown. Guess I should have paid myself more! :D


(not actually Ms Elrod. obvs.)

Wilde_at_heart
06-06-2014, 12:15 AM
For those wondering about emails going astray... perhaps message on Facebook? She appears to update the page fairly frequently, so that might work. Plus then there is no chance of your message getting lost twixt the cup and the lip.

I'm not sure, but I think you need to 'friend' her in order to message her on that page. Not sure if that's okay to do or not ...

Gillhoughly
06-06-2014, 12:27 AM
I'm not sure, but I think you need to 'friend' her in order to message her on that page. Not sure if that's okay to do or not ...

FB is a mess at times. I think the way it works is that if there's a little world globe icon showing it means it's a publicly shared thing, so everyone can see it.

Some posts are for friends only, and that limits who's allowed to see it. That's a good thing for some who want a bit of privacy.

Some members have a setting where only friends are allowed to email and mail from strangers goes into a spam box. I check mine all the time. It's usually spam and I report the creeps.

You still have to join FB to read posts, which is why I quoted her post here instead of just the link.

OTOH, she's not exactly hard to find on the Net and there's her email right on the website! :D

Hanson
06-06-2014, 12:41 AM
I AM CAUGHT UP THROUGH APRIL 4 ON CRITIQUES. ANYONE WHO SENT A CRITIQUE BEFORE APRIL 4 HAS FEEDBACK.

Grand. I'm April 10th.

Here's hoping it'll be soon....

amergina
06-06-2014, 12:47 AM
Aw man. I wish I had paid enough attention to notice that she took shorts in the beginning. I thought it was only novels!

I'm fine with novels (and my agent gets those anyway and is editorial) but my short stories...need some help. LOL.

Ah well. I completely understand why the change, though.

honeybadgers117
06-06-2014, 01:11 AM
I submitted last night, uh! Here's to us! I decided even if she slices and dices it into nothing- I'd rather have one paragraph of something than a page full of nothing.

jhtatroe
06-06-2014, 01:34 AM
Well, that was quick. I queried again and my submission did, in fact, disappear into the ether at some point between the original receipt notification and now.

She asked me to re-send and then told me she was diving into it immediately. How's that for nerve-wracking?

Hanson
06-06-2014, 01:46 AM
Well, that was quick. I queried again and my submission did, in fact, disappear into the ether at some point between the original receipt notification and now.

She asked me to re-send and then told me she was diving into it immediately. How's that for nerve-wracking?
Sound great to me. If you know when the hangman's comes-a- knocking, you have some relief, no?

(not that PN Elrod will be doing any actual hanging, as such.)

jhtatroe
06-06-2014, 02:43 AM
Aaaand… my critique is done. I am… still processing. It's not what I expected at all. Someone pinch me because… woah.

(I know…vague, but really, still processing.)

cwschizzy
06-06-2014, 06:09 AM
Received mine yesterday. Truly euclidating, well worth it too. I was probably the last short to go through as well, so yay!

Tamlyn
06-06-2014, 01:20 PM
I submitted mine and was all ready to be bricked... so I was actually disappointed to get a next day reply with no bricking and agency recommendations!

My brain is slowly coming around to being delighted it didn't need tearing :)

I still donated because even without a critique, she had to take the time to read it and time is precious. So are pets. *nods*

Gillhoughly
06-06-2014, 08:07 PM
Wow--you got an agency recommendation? That couldn't have been easy. I hear she's as rough on writers as Wolverine is on a case of beer.

That was such a cool thing to donate. I hope she appreciated it.

....You got an agency recommendation? Way to go! :Hug2:

:looks hopeful: Um....which one? ;)

Chekurtab
06-06-2014, 09:42 PM
I submitted mine and was all ready to be bricked... so I was actually disappointed to get a next day reply with no bricking and agency recommendations!

My brain is slowly coming around to being delighted it didn't need tearing :)

I still donated because even without a critique, she had to take the time to read it and time is precious. So are pets. *nods*

That's great news! I'm impressed.

Chekurtab
06-06-2014, 09:46 PM
I AM CAUGHT UP THROUGH APRIL 4 ON CRITIQUES. ANYONE WHO SENT A CRITIQUE BEFORE APRIL 4 HAS FEEDBACK.

Grand. I'm April 10th.

Here's hoping it'll be soon....

I submitted April 1 and I don't have mine back yet.
I feel like vampire Armand. The longest living weirdo...

Wilde_at_heart
06-06-2014, 10:24 PM
I submitted April 1 and I don't have mine back yet.
I feel like vampire Armand. The longest living weirdo...

She posted on Facebook that if you sent before to April 4 and have not gotten your critique, to let her know.

Either message her on FB, or send a separate e-mail (not a reply, and not with the same subject header as your original email) to her.

Chekurtab
06-06-2014, 11:05 PM
She posted on Facebook that if you sent before to April 4 and have not gotten your critique, to let her know.

Either message her on FB, or send a separate e-mail (not a reply, and not with the same subject header as your original email) to her.

Yeah, I did a few days ago. She has it.

Gillhoughly
06-07-2014, 01:22 AM
Did you say it was a resubmission?

Chekurtab
06-07-2014, 08:56 AM
Did you say it was a resubmission?

No, it's not. She did call it "practice for waiting on publishers".
So, practice it is.

Gillhoughly
06-07-2014, 09:03 AM
I'm trying to get my head around this. She's caught up until April 4th, you sent something on April 1st, so you should have it by now.

Others have gone missing. Maybe the universe decided to mess with you. I hate when it does that to me.

She did put out a call for people to let her know if their crits didn't arrive. Let her know. Sounds like she's trying to do right by everyone.

Chekurtab
06-07-2014, 05:58 PM
I'm trying to get my head around this. She's caught up until April 4th, you sent something on April 1st, so you should have it by now.

Others have gone missing. Maybe the universe decided to mess with you. I hate when it does that to me.

She did put out a call for people to let her know if their crits didn't arrive. Let her know. Sounds like she's trying to do right by everyone.

I think she's inundated. Might be difficult for her to swim in submissions. She knows about mine and I don't want to keep reminding her every week about it. I'll post when I receive my critique. Thanks.

Gillhoughly
06-11-2014, 04:00 AM
Apparently she's still at it.

https://www.facebook.com/p.n.elrod/posts/10152112900236434


I put an update on the Critique website:
(June) UPDATE:
Because of the huge response I've started giving new submissions a quick scan first. If a submission isn't ready for a full on pro critique I will let you know right away.

There's no shame in that, it just means you have to work more at developing your craft. Writers develop at different rates. At least this way you won't have to wait to find out!

If I think your submission is ready to shop, I'll let you know that, too.
-------------------------------------------------
I also ask here on FB that aspiring writers read the "Do Not Send" list very carefully.

I had to refuse a recent submission because the writer either forgot one of my "Do Not Send" items was in the sub, or hoped that I'd overlook it.

No, I won't. I mean it about "no exceptions."

I'm not being hard-assed toward the poor writer; I'm protecting my own battered psyche!

I checked and most of that's on the website. I'm glad I don't have her job. Sounds like it takes a toll. :scared:

Justin SR
06-11-2014, 06:38 AM
Just popping in to let you know I got mine from mid-April back. She gave it the beating it deserved, but also said some nice things about my writing. The best part was that everything she said rang true.

I sent her $25 and feel like I'm stealing, but it was all I could afford. I'd definitely send her something else if I felt like it was ready, but I'm very satisfied with the service I got. I'd encourage anyone to do this. The lady knows her stuff.