Thursday, February 10, 2011

Critiques

The cats banished themselves to the basement last night (perhaps with angelic help), so I feel somewhat rested this morning. Until I get that mouthpiece adjustment later this month, I'm sleeping with several stacks of pillows to give my neck a rest. Unfortunately, it's leading to back pain. Sigh. I can't win for losing.

Instead of working on Past Ties last night, I spent some time in the Sandbox.

One of this year's resolutions is to spend critique time on someone else's stuff at least once a month. I'm very green at critiquing others (shocking, isn't it, considering how critical I am) and I need to practice. "Honesty with grace" is my goal. I'll settle for "useful."

A Sandboxer asked for help with a character's emotional issues. Feeling somewhat qualified to comment on that (since I have so very many of my own), I did. I hope it helps.

The Sandbox is an odd, wonderful mix of folks. Frankly, I feel like an ant among giants. It's a bit like the bazaar on Deva. Some of them are unpublished, some are professional writers. Some are jacks-of-all-trades. We've got people experienced in metallurgy, binary programming, Renaissance sword smithing and sword-fighting, sharp-shooters... Actually, that may be the same person, as I think about it.

It's a bit over-whelming. Yes, it's a fount of potential knowledge, but it freaks me out, too. I have to approach as the most naked of newbies. That's never comfortable.

Fortunately, they're also nice. 

The sheer variety of stories is over-whelming, too. My reading preference is definitely fantasy, but I'm the minority in the Sandbox. That isn't too odd considering Sandboxers are also Anomaliens. I noticed this difference during the MLS contest. Even in the fringe group, I'm on the fringe.

TT: Actually, I think I'm the bonnet-and-buggy crowd of the spec-fic world. My tastes are just too normal. That's okay.

We've had lots of speculative historical fiction come up and I shy away from those. Don't know why. Most of them include sci-fi crossover, which I love. I can't possibly crit everything that comes up (which may be a social faux pas). That's part of the reason I haven't critted much at all. Some of the stories are too far out of my interest range. I'll have to find a way to deal with that.

So Tayra and Gavran's issues must percolate in my subconscious one more night. That's okay. I'm writing down scenes as they come to me at the moment, hoping to lay some stepping stones on my path to completion. I'm getting there.

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