My mentor, teacher, editor-extraordinaire, industry goddess—a person whom I admire and trust returned her opinion of Isis. Her offer to read my manuscript was a dream come true and I knew that I could count on her honesty.
I’ve heard of an author who takes her edits straight from the mail and puts them into the freezer section of her refrigerator. The desire to put some coldness between my writer’s burning soul and the hard, frozen truth of the professional (mine & my mentor’s) is understandable. It’s what happens next that defines the writer. I am a professional. I will not only open my arms to the advice, but I will feel it fully, absorb the pain, and learn from it.
Three areas to concentrate on:
More tension, (my readers just groaned-as they already feel like they’ve been through an incredible roller coaster ride of tension—keep reading) especially in the beginning.
Dialogue wasn’t feeling realistic to me.
I had trouble feeling Eve’s emotions.
Tension, I can fix. The good news is that I found this myself coming back from DFWWW; the bad news is that I found it too late and may have squandered my ‘free manuscript review’ as a result. I even highlighted the problem in those first fifty pages while bouncing through air turbulence. To find the letter on my desk, simply confirmed my worst fears.
Dialog, I can fix. Perhaps this was more a style difficulty. My dialog also might include too much information, better explained elsewhere or cut. That I can do. Or it might be more underlying than that.
Reader was unable to feel my main character’s emotions; the nail in the coffin for me and something I thought I fixed. Certainly other readers hadn't mentioned this or I didn't recognize what they were saying. Back to the writer’s tool chest and time to be brutally honest. Splat. Wall. Blood, guts and brain matter. Have I squandered two valuable opportunities as a result? Is the true strength of my first pages in this regard strong enough to carry over the weaker mid-section of my first fifty? I hope so, especially when that other opportunity was with an agent in my top five--to be honest, she is in all five slots of my top ten. Once done, there are rarely second chances in this industry...
In either case, it’s back to classes and intensive reading of current fiction work that draws the reader in close. Finding the right instructor, the right instruction book, the right course to help me pick apart successful manuscripts that do this and learn to apply it well is essential.
Learning the right tools to improve this is now my top priority. I can’t be content with what I have presently and this valuable feedback will drive me to a new level of competency.
Ouch, hurt and learn--I can do that.
Another thank you to all of the people who read my manuscript, gave me such excellent advice, and continue to support my efforts in this journey.
- May - 2016: Upcoming, I'll be participating in Desert Sleuth's Donald Maass Workshop. I'm afraid it sold out months ago, but if you have questions, contact me.Apr - 2016: A 2nd Kami Short will release in the Malice Domestic anthology in Bethesda MD. I'll also be moderating a panel with authors Karen Pullen, Sue Cox, and Gretchen Archer. Don't miss the fun! I'll have special edition signed copies of the 1st Kami Short from the SinC - Desert Sleuth anthology to hand out for free.Apr - 2016: An adult short story, Big Horn Mountain Carnivores, was selected as the adult category winner in the Tempe Community Writing Contest loosely associated with Arizona State University! The e- & print release where I read a portion of the story was the greatest fun. Thank you everyone who came by! Free download here (scroll to bottom):Aug - 2015: Politics of Chaos was released at an event attended by the awesome NYTimes best-selling author Sara Paretsky! Also, a flash fiction entitled, "Lightning" was 3rd runner up in the national 2015 Writers Police Academy's contest.
July - 2015: NYC FBI headquarters. Many thrilling authors were there, the presentations were fantastic, and the experience was a solid 15 on a 10 point scale. Thank you to the International Thriller Writers for inviting me. Thank you to the men and women of the FBI.
MAY - 2015: The Poisoned Pen submitted Chaos Theory for the 2015 Edgar's young adult novel award. Please note that submission is NOT a nomination. Still, it is an exciting development.
MAR - 2015:Tucson Festival of Books booksigning! Great time by all.
FEB - 2015: CHAOS THEORY, released by The Poisoned Pencil, an imprint of The Poisoned Pen Press - one of the nation's largest publishers of hard-back mysteries.
MAR - 2013: Meg was honored to receive a year long mentorship from author Jan Blazanin through the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators - Iowa. Ms. Blazanin praised Meg's multiple characters' distinct and age appropriate voices.
Her writing blog is located at megevonne.blogspot.com contains reviews and writing craft tools.