Saturday, December 22, 2007

Merry Christmas!!! And Critiques

We at F.A.I.T.H. wish you a Merry Christmas! Be blessed and stay safe wherever you may go throughout the holidays. By the way, we've posted the finale to our Home By Christmas short story at, if you want to check it out. To read it in order, you'll have to start at the beginning posts.

Now for writing related news. I've just finished my proposal for my new South Carolina historical and I'll be sending it off to my agent soon. I don't expect it to be read over the holidays, but there's a feeling of accomplishment in at least completing the task. I have the whole week off between Christmas and New Year's. Any other time, I would be planning some extra writing time, but not this year. Right now I feel a need to take a break and I hope to get some much needed rest and catch up on some reading.

Right now I want to talk about critiques. Our critique group has a few new members and I'm working on a individual basis with some new critique partners outside of a formal critique group. I go through phases where I concentrate on one or two major things in my writing until I master it, with only a few slip ups here and there. I've been through POV, the show don't tell rules, limiting the was and ing verbs and the ly adverbs, characterization, GMC, plotting, layering subplots, realistic dialogue, compelling beginnings with hooks, ending chapters and scenes with hooks, and more that I'm probably forgetting right now. But through it all, I still struggle with one thing--misplaced commas.

It's good to switch critique partners every so often, because people have different strengths and a new POV could help you in your writing that your current critique partners may not be catching. There are so many things to concentrate on and look for in editing a manuscript that its hard for one person to catch everything. Even some editors will catch different things in a manuscript that other editors may not catch.

I know I have this comma problem, but after ten years of writing, it appears to be a weakness that has stuck with me. Granted, I've improved, but my weakness is still there. I wonder if there is an editor that will be willing to overlook this weakness if I can manage to grasp everything else? I can only hope and keep trying.


  1. I'm having a similar issue. I'm finding the rules hard to follow because I'd rather write conversationally than by the book.

    Merry Christmas :-D

  2. Way to go, Jenn! I'm proud of you for finishing the project!

    Enjoy your break!

    Also, I truly don't think an editor would reject something she loves even if it has comma problems. So don't fret over it. Just keep doing your best.