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Silk last won the day on September 20 2012

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  1. Of course I'm saying something that we already know, but sometimes it helps to validate the things that seem like they should be obvious. So: Receiving critiques is hard. Implementing feedback from critiques is hard. You're certainly not wrong to struggle with either. That said, figuring out how to do it better is a hugely important first step, and it's a step that not everyone takes. So, in all seriousness, good for you for opening up the discussion to begin with. A few things to keep in mind that have already been mentioned by others, but I'll say them again because they're pretty fundamental to being able to deal with critiques: 1. The comments are critiquing the work, not you. It can be a big and difficult shift to separate yourself from your work, but remember it's the words on the page that people are commenting on, not on your value or your worth as a writer. 2. The fact that you're getting comments on how to improve your work is expected. It's literally why you're here! There's a reason we call our submissions drafts. Give yourself permission to write work that is unfinished and imperfect. Give yourself permission to submit work that is unfinished and imperfect. Even when you're happy with what you've come out with, remind yourself when you're writing and when you're submitting that it's a work-in-progress. This might help make it easier to take the comments as just another part of the process, since it wasn't a finished piece of work to begin with. 3. Critiques are, at the end of the day, opinions. They're information on how that person is experiencing your story right now. They're not some sort of authoritative judgement on your work. The person may be completely off the mark, or they may just not be the audience for your work. This is a balancing act, because of course we want to learn from people's critiques as much as possible, but sometimes you can make the mental space you need to take someone's critique to heart by reminding yourself that hey, it's just an opinion. That said, that's all kind of abstract, and making that sort of mindset shift is easier said than done. So... I really like this, because it's something concrete that you could try to maybe take the edge off. Another tack you could try would be to wait for a week after you submit something, or submit it and wait for a week (or two weeks, or until you've written the next chapter, or whatever it is that works for you) to give yourself some mental distance. A third option might be to do an initial skim of people's comments really quickly, to get a general idea of what you're in for, so to speak, and then come back in a few hours or a few days when you feel like you're braced for what people are saying. As for implementing feedback, this is part of the revision and editing process, and one of the things that people often don't realize is that writing and editing are separate (although related, obviously) skill sets. So, it's totally natural to feel much more comfortable with writing than editing (or the other way around). This is really important. It's why we typically encourage our members to be descriptive in their critiques rather than prescriptive. You, as the author, have the vision for the story. When responding to feedback, your job is to figure out why readers had the experience they did, and how to make that experience smoother that still achieves the objectives you want for your piece, as @aeromancer alluded to. Folks are throwing out some good suggestions here, but do keep in mind that revision is going to be particular to your writing process as well. Personally, I'm a discovery writer, and an extremely messy one. So when I revise, I like to start with the really big picture stuff, because I know I'm going to be doing things like cutting, adding, or removing whole scenes or plot pieces. Often this means I need to spend some time with my outline or at least jot some notes before I can get on with making changes to the actual story. Depending on where I am in the draft when I decided to make changes, this might mean going back and re-writing earlier scenes that now need to change, so that I feel like I'm on solid footing for the rest of the draft. If I'm really stuck I might write (or at least start writing) multiple versions of a scene, just to see which fits. That being said, if I'm stuck or feeling down on critiques, sometimes going back and making some of the small changes that people bring up can be really helpful; it's more approachable, and sometimes the immediate gratification of making small but measurable improvements can really help deal with the mental load of feedback, too. Finally, I just want to add that both mentally dealing with critiques and implementing the feedback you get from them are skills that improve with practice. I didn't want to open with that because it's I know it's not terribly helpful right now, but it really does get easier, and I think that's worth saying.
  2. Hooray! So, @Mandamon and @Robinski for tomorrow?
  3. As I read: Was a bit jarring coming into this chapter, but I’m 100% certain that’s because I haven’t read the most-recently-rewritten version. Which, incidentally, I really want to read after reading your description of the revisions. And, ooh, ooh! New tinfoil hat theory, which I’m almost certain is wrong but it’s fun to think about anyway. What if N programmed the dinos to follow the crew around to make sure they got back to Gen intact? P1 I giggled at the phrase “totally scrutable.” Also p1, “M’s hand dropped away” Extremely nitpicky, but given that this is M’s POV it struck me as odd that this was written in passive voice. Bottom of p2 should be “doled out” not “dolled out.” And “remorselessness” instead of “remorseless” “TOM needs TT and MR to disappear” fine, but again I’m struggling with why he couldn’t have made this happen sooner; he’s framed as even more of a boogeyman than Mor. P4 “So how would D know he wasn’t releasing N...” Having a bit of trouble following who’s doing what in this sentence. “...looked to Mo like she was all the uncomfortable.” Slightly broken sentence here? Oh huh. Tinfoil hat theory confirmed. High five, me! Bottom p4 “We’re they a pair?” should be “were” Heh. I like how quickly they become M’s dinos. Given how protective Q has generally been of M, I’m a bit surprised that he’s the one to suggest M crawling through the pipe. P12 “Once we start tampering … building security will be alerted.” Why is E only mentioning this now? Overall: I actually didn't have a ton to say about this chapter. Some good tension and I enjoyed watching M manipulate the VLs. Very curious with the last line to see what's gone wrong (I'll note that I did not think it was the airstrike). This is a fair point, although I didn't find it to be a stumbling block for this chapter. It's possible that that's because I'm picking up reading after a little while, though. I found the countdown worked for me. I found this idiom a bit hard to parse, too. And seconding Mandamon's comment here. If you needed a reason for K to suddenly decide he needs to get the hell out of dodge, you could potentially have the soldiers recognize him as being on the lam? I actually really liked this moment. Making the whole thing slightly less unpleasant is hardly necessary, and it strikes me as one of the mundane little things that could very much be what breaks someone's composure, especially when tensions are already running high. (I liked Q's bafflement as well.) That said, considering they've been in a van this whole time, I do wonder where Q got it to begin with. I started laughing uncontrollably when I read this, and am now dead. I think part of this is that Q tends to sound very confident when he's making assumptions, and in this case the others let it ride, so it was definitely easy to interpret the original version of this dialogue as a sure thing.
  4. @Mandamon and @Robinski for Monday!
  5. So we have @Mandamon, @kais, @Robinski, and @killersquid for today. Sorry for the late check on the forums. I have acquired the household cold and spent most of yesterday sleeping. .
  6. So we have @Mandamon, @killersquid, and @Robinski for Monday March 9.
  7. So far we're three for Monday: @Mandamelon, @Robinski and @lizbusby.
  8. Just @Mandamon so far for this week? Any other takers?
  9. Overall: This is definitely a better chapter. I still don’t think it entirely fixes the problem with the last version (at least not with the information that we have now), which to my mind was that there’s no actual payoff for getting to their destination, specifically. We have the throwdown with the Bureau, but that could have happened, say, at D’s place, or halfway across the ice, etc. But we’ve been chasing MR and TT for so long, first to MR’s house and then to this specific destination, that I think readers will still want some sort of payoff for it. Also worth noting: I have the impression that MR and TT haven’t actually been here for a while, which sort of begs the question of why there are still four FBI agents in tactical gear hanging out an empty house. As I go: P2 Minor, but “no doubt considering if she could trust him” and then this sentiment is repeated in the dialogue. Q is obviously having a hard time with some of the stuff he’s learned. I like it. Still feel like we could have a little more of this, though. Which doesn’t necessarily mean that the text has to repeat itself ad naseum, but I’m interested to see the emotional stuff actually start to get in the way. P4 E-C is written a couple times with an extra S on the end but I don’t think that’s how it’s been written previously? P5 “lacky” should be “lackey” unless it’s like the e in “whiskey”? “An interstellar terra-forming company… Think bigger.” I still feel like Q has a better sense of TOM’s motivations and endgame than we do as readers. That’s still missing for me, a little bit, in terms of the stakes. What does TOM actually want, aside from the general/obvious motivation, which is more power and control? So he’s managed to install a dictator (or get closer). What are the consequences? Yep, name checking the curfew helps. “…bigger teeth, sharper claws, better ordnance.” Good line. Bottom-ish of p7, even on the second read-through it took me a second to realize that M was swearing at Q because he had startled her. “Have you told them they don’t eat humans?” Also a good line. I forget if this was there in the last draft – it probably was – but I like the juxtaposition of the aurora with the dinos’ eyes. Okay, so the DS protocol. E comments that Mor must have deactivated the protocol on all of the beasts he’s released, which makes sense. Still, wouldn’t that have made it into the news? And/or Kr would have asked the question a lot sooner, because really, anyone’s first question who’s familiar with the law would be “Why is this still a problem.” P10 “before he misted with some substance…” missing word after “misted” perhaps? Bottom of p12, “guessing I won’t matter” should be “guessing it won’t matter” Minor, but a law enforcement officer in the process of arresting Q would probably call him by just his first or more likely his last name, not a nickname. I’m a little confused by the blocking on p13/14. The characters seem to be heading into a standoff with the comment about the agent looking down the barrel of Kr’s pistol, then E and D come in the front without being forced there by an agent and collecting… whose weapons? Are the “black forms” sitting on the floor Q, M, E and D? If so, why isn’t Kr being arrested with them? If they’re the FBI agents, why didn’t they put up any resistance, especially when they seemed to have no problem arresting Q and M? Agent P also seems to be giving up a lot of information somewhat too easily given how adversarial this situation is. I definitely think we need the info, but the way it’s being presented doesn’t quite ring true for me here. This made sense to me. I'd had it flagged as "the government parked in the neighbour's driveway as part of the stakeout." I thought it was fine in the first version, but here I agree. You might be able to help readers by giving us a quick reaction out of D, a surprised swear or whatever, when it's first mentioned to flag that it's significant. Has the advantage of breaking up Agent P's call a little bit, too.
  10. So we have @Majestic Fox, @Mandamon and @Robinski for Monday?
  11. Yes, that was absolutely a deliberate and clever Parks and Rec reference. 100%. *shifty eyes*
  12. This probably makes sense in light of the other revisions you've made. Before it at least served a purpose of Kr. making/confirming a decision that he was NOT going by the book on this one, but with the revisions, this has already been made abundantly clear before now. Agree. I think this will help. ...I knew that. (Narrator, looking at camera: she did not, in fact, know that.) Hey, whatever you think is most useful for you!
  13. LOL. Well that's going in my signature.
  14. Haha. To be fair, I've never been particularly squicked out by bugs in general, so it might be that I'm just the wrong person to have an opinion here.