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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Book Reviews, Critiques, and Writing

I am probably a good example of the average American.  I read, lately not enough, but I forget to go and write book reviews of the books I have read.  I recently read a blog posting of a lady who just got her first review and it reminded me of the excitement I get when I read a new book review of my book.  I only have one book published but I still get excited when I read a new book review of my one book. 

I especially like good honest critiques of rough draft material, likes and dislikes, what people think of the characters, what they liked about the book as a whole and what they didn't like.  I think getting that feed back and acting on it, before it's published is truly what is going to help make me a great writer in the end.  I got that tidbit from one of the masters, Mr. Ken Follett, in his writings to aspiring writers!  I still need to get a dedicated group of beta readers who will a finish reading in time to critique my work before I get through the editing and rewriting part, and will be able provide the valuable advise I am looking for as to what might make it a better book overall.  I am still very early in this process of becoming a writer so I have time to hone my list of helpers and beta readers before I get successful. 

We should all make a point of getting people, fellow authors, especially our readers, to write book reviews of the stuff they are reading.  I will work on it also.  People get busy and forget or side tracked and don't finish books they are reading.  Some books I finish fast, some slow, some for information & inspiration, some for mere enjoyment.  Either way I need to become a better reviewer. 

Lately in my life I have been so tunnel visioned on working on my second novel that life has been playing catch up with me this last week, and I have been forcibly busy every evening, and weekend, and have to literally steal minutes here or there to edit.  Read a sentence and go do something while I try to rewrite a line in my head, jot down ideas on a napkin and sneak back to it later to rewrite one sentence and then do it all over again.  I have felt sneaky, as if I am having an affair with my novel, desperately wanting to shut the world out and give it a whole three to four hours of solid attention.  I dream of taking a day off work, running off with my computer to some secluded place and seeing what I could do with eight to ten hours of hard work, a coffee maker, a loaf of bread and some lunch meat to make sandwiches if I get hungry.  To immerse myself in my work whole heartily. 

I so dream of a day when I can get up and get ready, fix breakfast for the family, kiss them good bye, and scoot them out the door, and go to an office in my own home with book shelves and my library, note pads, dry erase boards, my computer, soft music playing in the back ground and loose myself in cranking out books.  Do laundry, work out and cook dinner late in the afternoon, have dinner with the family and then back to my office to edit and rewrite past work in the evenings.  It's a long way off, but that's the dream, the job of a life time, a career, that I can do until I can't type, see, or they plant me in the ground.

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