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Elodie-Caroline
03-06-2007, 09:51 PM
I hope it's okay to post this here? As I really do feel rejected...

I sent my recently finished story off to a friend to read over for me, he's an ex teacher and probably the most intelligent person I know. Anyway, after nearly a month's wait, he wrote back to me today. He said that my story was good and that I had a good writing style... Then he went on and pointed out all of the bad things in it, they far outweigh the good. One of the things he said was, that it was unbelievable.
I guess I'm going to have to do a major rewrite now, or else just crawl off into a corner and cry my eyes out. I actually liked my story too :cry:


Elodie

scarletpeaches
03-06-2007, 09:57 PM
If he's pointing out what's wrong with it, I'm assuming we're talking about, oh...head-jumping for instance? Things that can be fixed?

When it comes to 'unbelievable', ask yourself these questions: Does this person normally read books in your genre? Could his opinion be coloured by his own personal tastes? And what of, for instance, (with apologies to PeeDee) zombie-spanking stories? Completely unbelievable if you analyse it, but if you're willing to suspend your disbelief, ANYTHING can be entertaining if it's written well.

It puzzles me that he said the story was good and yet also unbelievable.

But trust me, getting your book back covered in the dastardly red pencil is nothing new. If you can see where you're going wrong, then you're learning, and that's a good thing in itself.

And remember, someone being an intelligent teacher doesn't always make them an intelligent reader. I'm not saying he's wrong about the mistakes he's pointed out, but work on them, do a complete rewrite - yes, a COMPLETE rewrite, then see what happens.

CaroGirl
03-06-2007, 09:58 PM
Congratulations. You actually found someone strong enough to be honest with you. Put your story away for a day and then go back to it with his comments in hand. If you can see where he's coming from, you can fix it. Your story will be better. And maybe you'll sell it.

Don't take it too hard. Imagine if he'd just told you it was great and you wasted your time amassing a stack of rejections without knowing why.

maddythemad
03-06-2007, 09:59 PM
I'm so sorry, Elodie-Caroline. Even if you greaty admire/respect the opinion of this friend of yours, I still wouldn't do a rewrite based soley on his opinion. Send it out to other friends, maybe post a chapter in SYW, or join a critique group. Don't give up. :)

ETA: Double posted (is that what it's called?) with scarletpeaches and carogirl.

Meerkat
03-06-2007, 09:59 PM
So in other words Elodie, you have something many of us don't have: constructive criticism. I'll trade you without questions my pile of "nope--not for me"'s I have for the clear-cut course of action you have and can begin work on....as soon as that initial shock of his reply wears off, of course.

Keep your chin up, rewrite slightly, resub, and IT SHALL SELL!
Best of success now!

WildScribe
03-06-2007, 09:59 PM
Agreed. Good on you for finding someone honest about his opinions. Now take them as they were intended, and fix that puppy up!

Meerkat
03-06-2007, 10:01 PM
You know too, the fact that you got four replies within two minutes of each other means somebody has great faith in you. I'm talkin' 'bout your pals at AW....

scarletpeaches
03-06-2007, 10:01 PM
...I still wouldn't do a rewrite based soley on his opinion...

Based on someone's opinion, no...but based on technicalities (i.e. spelling, grammar) yes. Rewrites, when used for tightening the writing, clearing up loose plot threads and other improvements, are par for the course really.

Chin up! :D

maddythemad
03-06-2007, 10:03 PM
Good point, scarletpeaches. :)

Rich
03-06-2007, 10:09 PM
I let the editors who edit a pub do my critiquing. If I could find somebody who I can trust to tell me what's what, I'd marry her/him, no matter what gender. (my wife would be quite pissed, but business is business.)

I'm heavy on believability in a story--willing suspension of disbelief notwithstanding. All eggs in one basket, Elodie? You might've been better off sending it to an agent first. He/she would be more objective, and in the business of his/her own business.

Pat~
03-06-2007, 10:09 PM
Hang in there, and here's a hug. :Hug2: You did a good thing in allowing for someone else's critical eye to go over it. This will help it become a better manuscript in the end. I would suggest you get other eyes to look at it as well, and not rely solely on one person's judgment. Do you have a writer's group that could crit it? (or use the AW one)...

Siddow
03-06-2007, 10:11 PM
Elodie, take what you can use of his crit and toss the rest. Really. I just sold a story yesterday that someone told me was unbelievable. That my situation was impossible, not just implausable. It took five markets to sell it, but it sold. For cash. If you like the story, then there's an editor out there that will like it, too.

veinglory
03-06-2007, 10:12 PM
Be sure to thank him for taking the time to be thorough :)

I feel bad about heavy crits for a while, generally I read story comments one day--get over the reaction, and fix them the next day.

Celia Cyanide
03-06-2007, 10:12 PM
It puzzles me that he said the story was good and yet also unbelievable.

Me too. Does he think the whole thing is unbelievable, or just one aspect?

I agree with what others have said. You are lucky to have found someone who is honest with you.

When you have spent some time away from it, and you are less emotional about it, go back and look at his comments again. Then you can decide what you agree with, and what you think might make it better.

janetbellinger
03-06-2007, 11:21 PM
Hey Elodie, don't put too mcuh stock in what a teacher tells you about your writing. This person is probably so steeped in rules and regulations about writing that he or she cannot see past it. Believe me, a teacher is the last person on earth you want to read your manuscript. Okay, maybe if that person is also a writer.

icerose
03-06-2007, 11:24 PM
Hey Elodie,
Being unbelievable can be little things that together push it over. It doesn't necessarily mean it's in severe trouble. After you've gone through it again, you know my e-mail if you need another opinion on the believability factor.

KCH
03-06-2007, 11:48 PM
Elodie,

Just chiming in to agree with those who have pointed out how lucky you are to have someone willing to do an honest critique. It's praise of a higher order than the praise you (thought) you wanted to hear.

He did not patronize you. He spoke to you as a peer. And since you consider him the most intelligent person you know, then, that's high praise of his estimation of you. If he did not consider you capable and talented and mature enough to process critique, he'd have saved himself a lot of time and aggravation by tossing off some feel-good but meaningless praise: "Nice work! Loved it! Good luck to you."

Not only was this person honest with you, he was generous. Of course, you wanted him to be generous with praise for your work--as we all do--but he went one better. He was generous with his time and expertise. He would not have bothered if he hadn't felt the story--and you--were worth it. So rather than feeling badly, you should feel encouraged.

MidnightMuse
03-07-2007, 12:23 AM
Don't let it get you too far down - this just happened today, yes? Give yourself a day to :rant: But tomorrow, start thinking over exactly what he said.

Not what you're thinking he said, but what he said.

Then, consider each point carefully and with as objective a mind as you can muster. I'd be willing to bet you 90% of his comments or remarks would be easily addressed without affecting the story as you see it.

And I'd be willing to bet the other 10% fall into two catagories: Total crap because he didn't know what he was talking about - or - perfect sense and something you can fix with a few adjustments.

There's nothing more valuable than honest, brutal criticism. We ask for it all the time, whine when we don't get it - but when we DO, it freaks us out every time. It's a natural first reaction to panic, cry, get angry, then justify why it's wrong.

It's a natural SECOND reaction to think it over, par it down and realize it's not as huge or unmanageable as we first thought.

Hang in there! Get some chocolate (Easter candy is the best) and put it away for the rest of the day. Then, it's back to work ! :)

johnzakour
03-07-2007, 12:25 AM
If I was happy with my book I would never do a major rewrite based on one opinion from a friend (nomatter how intelligent) who can not publish or sell my book to a publisher.

Why is this friends opinion any more valid than your own?

Friends are for telling you the person you are dating is a jerk or that you've had too much to drink, don't drive home. Friends shouldn't critique friends.

(If I listened to all my friends about my writing I'd still be one book one instead of book fourteen - counting the ones coming in 2007 & 08.)

Jamesaritchie
03-07-2007, 01:36 AM
Being a teacher, and being incredibly intelligent, does not in any way mean a person has a clue about what makes a novel good or bad, believable or unbelievable. Only an agent or editor with long experience in pleasing the reading public can tell you either of these things for sure.

One of the best editors in the business thought Le Guin's The Left Hand of Darkness was pure crap in every way, so even good editors get it wrong on occasion.

Let some real agents and editors look at your novel before you get too dejected. No one person ever gets to make this decision, and certainly not one who hasn't been in the business for years.

Elodie-Caroline
03-07-2007, 04:46 AM
Hi everyone,
Thank you ever so much for all of your input, and most of all, your kindness about my problem... I really don't know what else to call it?

Right, he was a teacher a long time ago, a foreign languages teacher. He's an internet friend, so I don't know him personally, and obviously he doesn't know me that well either, we've just talked on and off for 6 yrs or so. I did ask him to read it, and I did tell him from the beginning that I wanted an honest opinion, which I most certainly got eh. I suppose when you see it all written down on an e-mail as a critique, it sort of shocks you. I don't feel so bad now though, hubby took me for a drive down to Canary Wharf tonight, that always lifts my spirits seeing that at nighttime.

I know there is one particular chapter which really falls flat, but it's violent and someone needed getting rid of. I'm not a violent person in my own mind, so found this really difficult to do. It took me months to even come up with this part, but it does need to be there, somehow, just changed or a major rewrite I suppose.
The story is a romance/thriller btw. So not really a man's cup of tea I guess?

I'll put the e-mail on here in a little while, and my excuses, er, explanations about each part ok.

Thank you all very much once again, you're all great! ... love Elodie :)

Elodie-Caroline
03-07-2007, 05:19 AM
His e-mail is in the normal font, I'll put my explanations in bold..

Okay, some initial comments on your novel. The basic idea is of course
very sound, since it is always interesting to read about a human
relationship as it develops through hopes, doubts, disappointments,
etc.

The style is basically good, albeit with somewhat repetitive emphasis
on the minutiae of daily life. Do we need a description of EVERY cup
of coffee Pierre drinks? There are occasional grammatical lapses:
missing apostrophes, incorrect use of initial capital for common nouns,
misuse of who/whom, errors in the sequence of tenses, confusion of
did/done, lay/lie and sat/sitting, etc.
Right, the guy goes out and makes Coffee because he sometimes doesn't know what to do and say, so his excuse is to disappear off to the kitchen. My sister says that my friend just doesn't know what it's like to live in our houses, our kettles are never cold.
For capitals, I think that's probably due to MS Word always putting capitals for he and she before said after dialogue? With the did and done, I am using a French bloke talking English, except he uses French grammar for English talking ie; we'd say 'Have you done?' whereas he'd say 'You have done?' The other parts I can look over again and again. I do actually know the difference between lay and lie though, I actually looked it up in my Dictionary to make sure of the proper uses.


Most novels require a certain suspension of belief, given that they
relate events which are outwith the reader's direct experience. But
there are moments in your book when the reader is expected to suspend
belief to a ridiculous extent. The frame on which the developing
relationship between Pierre and Samantha hangs is incredible in the
true sense of the word, i.e. totally unbelievable.
What can I say? It's a romance, it's how I see it and how I want it, it's the main basis of the story, and I cannot change the outcome of it, even if it means publishing it as an e-book.

I may think that Pete Docherty is a poor role model and it is highly
unlikely that I should enjoy any time in his company - but I doubt if
I can say that I "loathe him with a passion". Why, at the start of
the novel, does Pierre react so vehemently to a woman whom he has never
met and who has never had any direct impact on his life? It is never
satisfactorily explained.
I can loathe someone I've never met, seeing them on the internet or on the TV screen makes me say yucky things about them, you ought to hear me when I see a pic of Jean Reno and his lollipop headed, internet bride looking wife lol.

There are occasional moments in the story when it is hard to believe
certain facts. How can a man with three sisters have never heard of
Barbie (page 71)? Is it likely that a woman with Samantha's sexual
history "had never done this before in her life" (page 102)? Would a
trained police officer "throw his gun to the floor" (page 87)?
I had Barbie dolls as a kid, and I bet my brother didn't know what they were called back then? Plus, when my female MC mentions Barbie, all she says is. 'I must take after, Barbie.' and the male MC asks 'Who is that?'
With the bit where she has never done this before, well, that's a little on the naughty side so I won't explain it; except to say that this was something to do with what happened to her when she was small and she just used to pretend to her old boyfriends. In other words, she was faking it. believe it or not, this isn't an erotic story, there's only the one scene near the end, which isn't done graphically in any kind of way. But her whole life is there, so anyone who reads it would know where my girl was coming from, excuse the pun.

And then there is the protection provided to Samantha by the French
police. Private individuals cannot normally hire, i.e. for payment,
the services of the police. If the police believe that there is a
credible threat to someone, protection is provided by the State, acting
through the forces of law and order, at the taxpayers' expense. And
if protection is to be provided, it would not be by one person. CPOs
(close protection officers) work as teams; given the resources
apparently allocated to Samantha's home in the south of France, there
would be at least two teams of three men protecting her in Paris.
And if she is at threat, would any CPO allow her to go wandering around
the city on her own?
My male MC used to be a Policeman, but now he works as a freelance bodyguard who does private jobs sometimes for the ministry of the interior. My girl just happens to be a friend of the head of the ministry of the interior's family, which is all explained very early on in the story. She doesn't want a crowd of bodyguards, she likes her privacy too much.

The story becomes even more incredible when it switches to Provence
(which is a region of southeast France, and not a town as suggested on
page 70). Even bumbling Inspector Clouseau ought to be able to track
down an old Transit van in the south of France. How long would it
take the English police to find a Deux-Cheveaux with French plates
pottering around High Wycombe? It's a bit like that episode in one of
Tom Clancy's novels when 14 Irishmen walk into a pub in Hereford and
order pints of Guinness, "without anyone paying them any attention".
Come on! - 14 Irishmen, whispering to one another in a pub in Hereford,
home of the SAS, and nobody notices!
I'm sorry, to me this just seems like nit-picking, and I've changed it to the city of Nice anyway.

Given that Pierre and his bunch of assassins seem decided from the
outset to eliminate Jeffrey, why did they put Samantha at such risk by
allowing her outside the house? Why didn't they just pull him from
the van parked across the road? And indeed, if Pierre can come and
go through the back entrance without being seen, why doesn't he sneak
Samantha out the same way, thus ensuring that there is absolutely no
risk of her coming to any harm?
I explained in the story how Samantha wouldn't want someone to just be killed off. She's already fragile and suffering depression from the guy Jeffrey killing her husband and baby ten years before, she would still have his death on her conscience if he was simply 'disappeared'. She needs to play a part into getting him... But I do know that this is my weak spot in the story.

And after Pierre has been painted as such a loving uncle, kind brother
and sensitive suitor, why does he turn into a vicious thug, beating a
restrained prisoner and ordering his execution. Okay, the DGSE (French
secret service) may have come out of the Greenpeace affair badly, but
there is a difference between a bungled operation and cold-blooded
beating and murder.
Pierre is angry after the bloke describes, in detail, what he wants to do to Samantha, Pierre loves her and goes ape-shit. But it was already decided that justice would be done to Jeffrey this time, so that he could never hurt her or anyone else again.

It's a good story, and both the main characters are described with
enough depth to make the story move forward. But I would suggest
re-writing the Jeffrey part of the story to make the novel as a whole
more credible.

johnzakour
03-07-2007, 05:44 AM
Actually, his comments seem fair enough.

Of course I've never read the MS and what the heck do I know anyhow...

It's still your book and you have to do what you want to do. :)

Saundra Julian
03-07-2007, 05:45 AM
I have not read your story but after reading this email I’d say your friend is trying to point out some things in the story that need work.
From your comments, I assume you will ignore his critique, which I did not find at all insulting or mean. I wish I had your friend to critique my work.

Nevertheless, I wish you the best of luck with your book.

Elodie-Caroline
03-07-2007, 05:52 AM
No, I'm not ignoring my friend's critique at all, I was just trying to explain certain parts that were fully explained in the story, that's all. I wouldn't have asked him to read it for me if I didn't value his input, honestly.
I am going to go over it with a fine tooth comb, which I had already been doing since I sent him my MS nearly a month ago anyway :)

TsukiRyoko
03-07-2007, 05:58 AM
This, my friend, is called a good critique. When I asked for critiques when I first staretd writing, I subconsciously meant, "Give me a compliment! Boost my ego!", so when I got my very first good critique, I actually DID cry.

All good writers love their stories, regardless of the content, the quality, etc etc. It never feels good to have it ripped at. However, you'll come to realize that the more rippign and tearing your critiquer does, the better the story will be if you take his/her advice.

Chances are, he really DID think it was a good story, or else he wouldn't have spent the time shredding it to piece for you. Good stories get people enthusiastic to read them, and it encourages them to help you out in any way possible.

Take his advice, your story will turn out wonderfully. And keep a box of tissue nearby.

Edita A Petrick
03-07-2007, 06:21 AM
Elodie-Caroline,

All those things your friend pointed out are not merely important, but crucial for the writer to get just right. Your friend is doing a wonderful thing -- he is teaching you the standards. He's far from being nit-picking. He's generous to give you such details.

Make a list of every issue he pointed out and go over it -- often. If you don't understand any particular objection, ask him to give you details and plenty of examples of what constitutes the "right way." If it reads unbelievable to him, it would read doubly so to to an editor. Go over the "unbelievable" aspects and either correct them or remove them if you can't think of the right motivation that would make it believable.

As you write, consult his list of issues and each time you need to pick a city name check it with Mapquest to see whether it exists and where. If in doubt, make up your own name. No one can take you to task on that.

But most important, touch-base with this friend as soon as possible and start asking questions about each and every suggestion he made. The sheer fact that he chose to point out so much for you means he cares and wants to encourage because he sees your potential. Now, you just need some effort on your side to fulfil it. Best of luck. Edita.

DeadlyAccurate
03-07-2007, 06:36 AM
Does this guy want any more books to critique? Because people pay good money for critiques that thorough, and I'd love for someone to go over my manuscript that well. That was awesome.

(I'm not seriously asking for a critique, by the way.)

pink lily
03-07-2007, 06:49 AM
Elodie, you're so lucky to have someone to review your work and tell you, honestly, where you can improve.

Look at all the others who agree:

Congratulations. You actually found someone strong enough to be honest with you. Put your story away for a day and then go back to it with his comments in hand. If you can see where he's coming from, you can fix it. Your story will be better. And maybe you'll sell it.

Don't take it too hard. Imagine if he'd just told you it was great and you wasted your time amassing a stack of rejections without knowing why.


Just chiming in to agree with those who have pointed out how lucky you are to have someone willing to do an honest critique. It's praise of a higher order than the praise you (thought) you wanted to hear.

He did not patronize you. He spoke to you as a peer. And since you consider him the most intelligent person you know, then, that's high praise of his estimation of you. If he did not consider you capable and talented and mature enough to process critique, he'd have saved himself a lot of time and aggravation by tossing off some feel-good but meaningless praise: "Nice work! Loved it! Good luck to you."

Not only was this person honest with you, he was generous. Of course, you wanted him to be generous with praise for your work--as we all do--but he went one better. He was generous with his time and expertise. He would not have bothered if he hadn't felt the story--and you--were worth it. So rather than feeling badly, you should feel encouraged.


All those things your friend pointed out are not merely important, but crucial for the writer to get just right. Your friend is doing a wonderful thing -- he is teaching you the standards. He's far from being nit-picking. He's generous to give you such details.

... But most important, touch-base with this friend as soon as possible and start asking questions about each and every suggestion he made. The sheer fact that he chose to point out so much for you means he cares and wants to encourage because he sees your potential. Now, you just need some effort on your side to fulfil it. Best of luck. Edita.
Really, don't be discouraged and don't cry. You are fortunate to have an intelligent, practical opinion from someone who cares about you and who wants to see you do well. I've sent some samples to 4 people, only one bothered to comment, and she was mostly appreciative and polite. I'd rather be told what doesn't work or where I should head with my thoughts.

So, cheer up, think about it for a few days, and see which of his ideas are workable for you. Congrats on getting positive feedback and helpful advice.

Dollywagon
03-07-2007, 11:54 AM
I'd give it somebody else to read, many of his comments are based on personal opinion.
I found Bridget Jones absolutely unbelievable (would a woman really be so insecure that she would write down every ciggie and calorie she consumed???) How wrong could I be ...

And don't mistake education for intelligence - they are completely different things.

Julie Worth
03-07-2007, 04:08 PM
I’ve come to realize that a work isn’t finished until I’ve had many such critiques. Even if they’ve misread something, I go back and see if I can’t make it clearer. So put defensiveness aside. Take what he said and see how you can improve your story. You may initially think it's impossible, but after a while, you may discover that it takes just a bit of tweaking here and there to fix it.

Little Red Barn
03-07-2007, 05:14 PM
Sorry Elodie...
Me, I want someone to give me their brutal feelins' --that way I can learn...no matter how much it sucks..
Hugs to you, sweetie.

Elodie-Caroline
03-07-2007, 05:15 PM
Thank you everyone, you're all very helpful and I very much appreciate it.
I also appreciate the critique my friend done for me, and yes, he obviously went through it to be able to tell me what was what, and I did thank him for his total honesty.
I was feeling a little rough yesterday, so I suppose his critique just caught me at a bad time. I guess I expected him to see my story the way I saw it. I can see the story running through my head as I write it, but it obviously takes a lot more for someone else to be able to read it as I see it.

I am going to take my time and go over it in the near future, doing it now, I don't think I would see the bad points at present. I have also done 11 more pages of 'filling in' since I passed it to him too, so maybe that sheds more light on some parts?

i do know that the chapter where the baddie is gotten rid of has to go and something better has to replace it... That might take me months to do, but I might not have those months in which to do it, but that's another story.

Thank you everyone, I really do appreciate your input into what my friend, and you, kindly pointed out to me.

Elodie

Elodie-Caroline
03-07-2007, 08:01 PM
I've now taken the plunge, and I've asked my friend to explain why my story's unbelievable; when he has the time. I figured I might as well know the worst about it, now that I'm over the shock :)

pepperlandgirl
03-11-2007, 06:03 AM
I think his entire email was an explanation of why it wasn't "believable." Each problem he pointed out and question he asked contributed to the believability factor. Not knowing who Barbie is in and of itself wouldn't make a story believable, but when you have a lot of little things like that, it adds up to one major problem.

eldragon
03-11-2007, 07:20 AM
I had the opposite happen to me: I sent my book to a published author friend and he told me it was wonderful, excellent - a future bestseller, surely to succeed in every way.

Sure.


And that was my first or second draft, which had alot of mistakes.


Someone else made an excellent point, and it really applied to my story as well: the author guy I knew was a public speaker and sold his books at seminars he did, making him some money. So he liked my book? Big deal, it was an entirely different genre and target audience.


So, relax. Take his critique as seriously as you wish. If he has made some valid points, don't take it personally, just re-think the problem areas. If he noted grammatical errors, fix them. It can all be fixed, right?

Elodie-Caroline
03-11-2007, 02:40 PM
I left my book for a couple of days and really thought about it, then I got back to it yesterday. I've changed some of the what I called the nit-picking parts of it, just tiny things, but relevant ones. This means that I don't even have to rewrite the whole chapter about when the bloke Jeffrey is caught and done away with. I did try and rewrite that chapter separately, but it seemed even more violent than the first, and if it were real life, then it would have left my female character ready for the loony-bin, she's already psychologically scarred... so the original is staying. I think that my story as a whole is a whole lot better now.

To be honest, I personally think that, what readers can accept as reality, depends on their own personal background and the way they've been brought up, and what they've seen in their own lives. So whereas my story might not seem very real to my friend, it does seem real enough to me, but there again, I've seen a lot of other different things in my life than he has.


Elodie

Dollywagon
03-11-2007, 08:25 PM
I do think that you are very lucky if you find what, SK says, is your 'ideal reader' (at least I think that's what he called it)

Surprisingly enough, my sister is mine. When she critiques, I sit up and take notice. I don't always do as she says, but most of the time she is right. Plus, she will always give me a good reason as to why a reader wouldn't connect with a certain section or whatever.

As I said earlier, if you had given me Bridget Jones to read as a draft I would have reported back that it was repetitive, unbelievable nonsense. But I don't read that kind of thing, I don't have any knowledge of what that particular market wants to read.

In other words, I'm about as useless as a chocolate fireguard. Oh, and I'm educated ... and used to be a lecturer to degree students. Still doesn't make me your ideal reader though;)

Toothpaste
03-11-2007, 08:53 PM
Elodie, it's great that you are revisiting the MS! The one thing I will say is you seem to be determined to throw off the "unbevlievable" line as some insult, or he doesn't know what he is talking about, or he obviously doesn't like the genre of book you write. There are many genres I don't like, but it doesn't mean I don't understand them and when I offer a critique of them am treating them like I would any other genre. I think take a moment and maybe pretend to agree with him. Think, "Okay my story is unbelievable" and read it over trying to prove his thesis, not disprove it. I say this having had to deal with just the same sort of situation. My editor asking me to cut an entire chapter, or re-work an entire section and I just think she is wrong. And I get really angry when I someone is wrong. But then I have sat down and gone, "Okay. Let's just pretend she's right for a second." A lot of the time, in the end, I have realised she was actually right. And then there are those few times where you come out the other end and you are still 100% sure they are wrong. And those times I would call my editor and we would hash things out until we had a compromise.

I guess I am just saying that I know where you are coming from. And from personal experience I really think you should consider that maybe he is right. That maybe there are quite a few things that you can fix to make the story more believable. And while you say you are fixing the "nit picky things" I really think that they probably aren't nit picky at all. Sometimes the smallest changes make the biggest differences.

Elodie-Caroline
03-11-2007, 10:05 PM
I'm really not trying to be awkward or rebelliously resisting what my friend said about my story here, as I do value what he said. I've put right a lot of things what he pointed out. I've also had to make my two main characters have many long talks and arguments over how the fiend is taken care of. He wants him and his friends to just kill him off, as he's already murdered her hubby and baby a few years beforehand, (thankfully I love writing dialogue). She won't have no truck with that though, and insists that she takes part in them capturing him. She knows it's entrapment, she knows it puts her and her bodyguard and his friends in grave danger too, but she can't handle the emotional aspect of someone being done-in on her behalf. I can personally understand that, I wouldn't want someone just done-in, like with the death penalty, if someone killed someone I loved. But if I felt personally in danger of losing my life, then I think I could cope with that person being snuffed out.

I've also had to turn it around a bit and made the bodyguard into a bit of a control freak, he tries to bully her into having it how he wants it done, but she won't. I personally think there are lots of people who would lose it and turn into a thug if someone they loved was in danger, especially if the baddie goes into detail of how he's going to kill her if he gets the chance to.
But, I will revise, carefully, the chapter where he gets his comeuppance ok, as this seems to be the bit that really sticks into my friend's craw :)

Oh, my critique suggested something like the baddie going running off a cliff during a chase, or something like that, but in real life, how likely would that happen?

Elodie-Caroline
03-11-2007, 10:27 PM
A little side-note. I suppose my last reply makes it look as though my female MC thinks her own life is more important than that of anyone else's? It isn't that way; she's just hoping that the guy after her will change his mind and buzz off back to where he came from so that no one has to deal with him, including her.