Monday, March 2, 2009

Deadlines, Secret Readers, and Thin Mints

In my twenty years in the workforce I have made thousands of deadlines, but today's manuscript revision deadline—my first deadline as an author—was the most exciting. Yay! Manuscript for book one and synopsis for book two are off!

Today I also received edits back on a work in progress from a person I don't really know. It was a fascinating exercise. I'd met "writerx" (it's more fun to keep her anonymous) at the Big Sur Writers Workshop more than a year ago. We were both in formidable editor Julie Strauss-Gable's small group, where we quickly formed a mutual admiration society. Though our projects were very different, our sensibilities were similar and we laughed at the same things. So, we swapped info at the end of the conference and just recently got around to swapping manuscripts.

It's really interesting to see how someone who doesn't really know you personally will react to your work—I highly recommend it, especially if you are about to query agents or editors. I'm not being dramatic when I say that I don't know how I'd survive as a writer without my critique group, but having an outsider's fresh eyes and perspective on a whole manuscript, instead of the bits and pieces that my critique group gets, is a valuable prelude to what an editor or agent might think.

That's all for today. In my other life I must now prepare for afternoon duty as Brownie Leader of Troop 2748. Time to offload the damn cookies that I’ve been toting around for two weeks.


Suzanne Casamento said...

I was at the Big Sur Writer's Workshop that year when Julie Strauss Gable attended. I didn't meet with her, but I got incredible advice and feedback from Nancy Lamb. She gave me the tools to finish my manuscript.

I loved that workshop.

Anyway, I completely agree with you about how valuable it is to have someone you don't know read your manuscript. And rare! Unfortunately, it's tough to get people to read. But the fresh perspective is so worth seeking readers out!

Robin said...

What an accomplishment! Congrats! Treat yourself to a thin mint.

Suzanne Young said...

Oh, man. If I knew you had cookies this whole time, I would have jumped you and stole them long ago!

Great work on the manuscript deadline!

Katie said...

Woo hoo! Christy - I had to remove my following of Hank temporarily while I fix my "dashboard." just lettin' you know :-)

Hardygirl said...

I think I'll celebrate your finished revision with Thin Mints (mine are in the freezer).

You're right--those critiques are unbelievably helpful.


Christy Raedeke said...

Suzanne C- you were at that Big Sur conference? Who were you with in addition to Nancy Lamb? I had Ellen Hopkins and Neil Schusterman, who were both really great. I also LOVE that conference, that was my second time in a row. I've never done better work than while there.

Barbara Slaton said...

If Juliet has any cookies left I will nuy them from her when you come down to visit!


Paul Äertker said...

I just want the cookies.

tonijennings said...

Congratulations Christy!! So happy for you! I've got 15 boxes of those girl scout cookies staring me in the face freezer is too full for them. Oh well, guess I need to eat them all!