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Helping others and an anniversary

I read a blog post today discussing drafts and the importance of focusing on the "spine." It was a fantastic post on a fantastic blog. For obvious reasons mentioned below, I will keep that part private, but email me if you want the link.

The post seemed a little familiar to me, and I wondered why I recognized the author's name. I wracked my brain for awhile, and then it hit me. This author, who I will call Mr. Critter, gave me my very first critique.

Now I'm sure he doesn't remember, why would he? It was almost exactly a year ago and I was thrilled to have 10,000 words of my first ever novel. 10,000 words! I seriously thought it was something amazing. I was going back and forth between past and present tense when I decided to post on Verla Kay's BBs to request for help. To say that I was inexperienced at that point is a vast understatement. I should never have allowed those words to cross anyone's eyes, but Mr. Critter, who has no idea who I am mind you, posted in reply offering to read the sample pages.

He read them and gave an entire email of critique back to me, even offering to read a rewrite. I never emailed him back after thanking him, though. Want to know why? The very next month he received a dream-come-true book deal from one of the top houses.

Did he have to read my work? Certainly not. And when he did and saw that it was horrifyingly bad, did he have to provide valuable feedback? Heck no.

But he did.

I am further along in my journey now. So I receive requests, separate from my crit partners--Hi!--quite a lot. And regardless of the writer's level, I crit the work. Why? Because Mr. Critter did it for me, and his crit made all the difference in my journey.

We are all busy, for sure, but if someone ventures into this crazy game of writing and wants you to read his/her work, please consider helping. I sucked bad when I first started. I may have given up if that first crit had said--you suck, pack up your laptop and go home.
So, many, many thanks to Mr. Critter and happy anniversary SECOND SOUL. Even if you are eventually shelved, I am forever thankful for what you taught me.



  1. Happy Anniversary! And what a fabulous blog template!

  2. Thanks Laura! This was my project lastnight when I should have been writing. ;)

  3. Your new blog is rockin'! ...I sound like I'm 60 years old. May as well have called it "swell." :)

    anyway, I'm glad Mr. Critter critted nicely. Otherwise we'd never have Twisted Root! Thank you Mr. Critter!

  4. Thanks, Amanda! Now when are you going to blog about the proposal? :)


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