Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Making Readers Cry

I've been busy editing my second fantasy novel these past few weeks. My first novel got rejected by an editor at a major publishing house, but she wants to see my second one. I sent out a panicked email to a couple of my writing newsgroups asking for critiques. It was kind of a tall order--read and critique a 87,000 word novel in less than a month. Nonetheless, seven people replied.

That's one of the great things about the writing community, most writers support one another. Oh, I've met some notable exceptions, usually writers who have recently become successful and have gotten a swelled head, but all in all we're a pretty supportive bunch.

The critiques were quite helpful. Besides catching some typos (you can never catch them all yourself) they had some good suggestions for fleshing out the supporting characters, and clearing up a few scenes. They were also very complimentary. One even said the nicest thing anyone has ever said about my writing--that one scene made her cry.

Wow. I've never been happy about making someone cry since breaking up with a certain deserving ex-girlfriend in college. The scene was designed to make the reader cry, but I didn't think it actually would.

I can only hope it will make the editor cry.

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Looking for more from Sean McLachlan? He also hangs out on the Civil War Horror blog, where he focuses on Civil War and Wild West history.

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