Monday, May 19, 2008

Critique Pains...and Pleasures

It's been a crazy two weeks, very busy and very productive, and I decided to share a little piece of all that's been happening with you. About a month and a half ago (perhaps longer), I decided to participate in the Virginia Ellis Critique Workshop organized by the Georgia Romance Writers Association. So I submitted the first 30 pages of my paranormal, "An Eternity of Roses", and hoped for the best :-).

The day of the workshop finally came. I was on pins and needles, nervous and excited at the same time. By the time I arrived, I was a bundle of tight knots stitched together.

I sat down, waiting, anticipating.

Everyone got together in groups of three and met their critique author. Everyone except me and another two authors.

"Uh?" I asked.

"Seressia never received your manuscripts, and she's not here." (meaning Seressia Glass)

"You mean you don't know where the manuscripts are?" I dumbly asked.

"We'll find them, don't worry," I was assured.

As a consolation, I got to attend a Q & A session with Rita Herron. To be honest, I don't regret that hour because it was very informative and helpful. Rita is one of Georgia's most well known romance writers and she's very knowledgeable about the business side of things. She's a real trooper and I thoroughly enjoyed chatting with her and a few other authors.

Well, to make a long story short, I resent my manuscript to Seressia via email, this time. I received a response from her and finally, about two weeks ago, we met at a coffee shop. I plied her with some sweet tea, her favorite drink. Then I sat down and trembled with inner fear. But I didn't have to. Seressia is a lovely person and I must say: she did such an AMAZING job critiquing my novel! Apart from some stylistic suggestions, she gave me much hope and encouragement, and told me she thinks the concept of the story is timeless and awesome. She loved my characters and told me she really started "caring what happened to them". This is my first novel, and I was so happy with the outcome of this meeting. Getting the feedback of a published author and being told such positive things... I was touched.

After our meeting, I went back to the drawing board. By the time I returned to the monthly GRWA meeting this month (and got my original manuscript copy back from Pam Quattlebaum...phew!), I had addressed most everything and am now in the process of adding some meat to the novel in preparation for the Maggies and for other, equally exciting reasons. A story which originally started at 20k and grew to 40k will now probably reach 50k-60k.

Basically, thanks to Seressia's magic, I ended up receiving some very anticipated, encouraging news from another source (my Holy Grail) - news which I had been waiting to hear with bated breath. I am on pins and needles again...I have bitten my nails to the quick. But this is the subject of another blog...

Hopefully, I'll have THE NEWS before the Moonlight and Magnolias Conference this year...and if nothing comes of it, there's always RT and RWA next year, which thankfully for me, will both be held in beautiful cities on the east coast.

~ Angela Guillaume ~
"Breathtaking Sensual Romance"
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"Mile High to Heaven"--"Mr. & Mrs. Foster"--Coming Soon at WCPT!