Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Dec. 23

I'm working on critiques for the Master's program. I am always at a loss as to what to do when someone clearly has a fun writer's voice and understands grammar and point of view, but the scene has no story purpose. One has two characters meeting- only one is a main character and the secondary character while interesting may or may not be important to the story- 16 pages. (Nothing new re: the mystery is discovered.) Another story is a funny snark day in the life of the heroine-first chapter-12 pages-that has no story question and she meets no one new-the plot does not begin. Sigh.
So, I talk about scene purpose; goal, motivation and conflict; along with starting with a hook or action. But I worry that they will look at me blankly not understanding or will argue that I'm wrong. Which I could be. After all published books don't always follow "rules."
I tell myself, all I can do is tell them what I think, what my experience is and then wish them luck. I hate critiques. 5 down--3 more to go.


  1. It's tough to hack out those unnecessary scenes...

  2. I feel the same way with contest entries. That I might give the wrong advice or am not clear that it's just my opinion. You're right about "rules". I think though, judging by the quality of the writing, that these writers will get it. :-)

  3. Thanks, L. Diane and Jessica,

    It's good to know I'm not alone in worrying over critiques. :)

    Happy Christmas!