Monday, October 15, 2007

Oh wait--you mean I'm NOT just a mom?

I know this blog has turned into Abby central lately, but that's what happens when I'm not writing. Actually, it's not that I'm not writing, it's that I'm not writing my book. I've been doing some freelance work for the first time, and man is it hard! It's so much more stressful than just writing the story you want to write--instead you have to try to read someone else's mind and get down not only what you want to say but what you think they want you to say. I used to think being a writer for hire would be cool, but now I'm definitely rethinking that. I mean, it would be better than, say, not making any money whatsoever, but if I had to choose between that and battling it out with my own manuscript, I'd take my own over freelance anyday.

I've also been doing a little bit of critique work--nothing at all official, just helping a fellow writer with some character development--and it's making me a little nervous about the whole editing business thing. I mean, I know my stuff when it comes to language and such, but do I really have what it takes to give someone the quality critique they deserve? (I probably shouldn't be voicing my concerns about my abilities where potential clients might see, but hey, honesty is a good thing, right?)

Dan's still battling this killer cycle of cluster headaches. Today was the eighth day in a row that he's had at least one, and today's was the worst so far of this cycle. I just ache for him and how frustrated and discouraged he is. Plus he goes back to school the 24th, which is going to be really difficult if he's still in cycle (especially if it continues to be an every day thing). Please pray that the cycle would end NOW so he has time to recover and prepare for school.

1 comment:

Timothy Fish said...

I do not see critiquing as requiring an expert opinion as much as it requires the opinion of a reader. Both are helpful, but authors often have trouble seeing the story from the reader’s point of view. I was ready a book just the other day that could have benefited from a good critique. I do not know why the publisher did not reject the manuscript, but it was boring. It was so boring that when my dog started chewing on it, he went to sleep. I would imagine that the author thought she had a good interesting book, but she might not have realized that either the readers were expecting everything that happened or they really did not care about some of the things that happened. She knew ahead of time what was going to happen, so reading it herself may not have helped. It does not take an expert opinion to be able to tell an author that her work is boring or that she needs to tell the reader more about some person or the background of something. An expert opinion can be helpful when making more specific suggestions on how to improve the writing, but there is no reason to feel inadequate to critique another person’s work as long as that person understands that you opinion is only an opinion rather than being the absolutely correct way to write.