Thursday, October 4, 2012

#writing: feedback

Inspired by...
Conquer Your Writing Weaknesses
I wrote...

Critiquing Partners

I was excited to attend my first blue pencil critique. Imagine, I thought. An actual published author will read my words.

Shortly before the session began the author walked up to me. “Do you have two copies of your submission?”

I nodded and handed her the pages. A published author is gong to read my words. My stomach flipped and the palms of my hands grew clammy. She’s going to read my words; she’s going to laugh and she’s going to know that I’m not a writer now nor never will be. I eased myself into the chair across the desk from her. “I know my writing needs a lot of help.” I waited for her to strap me in and flip the switch.

“Really?” She looked surprised. “Actually, I thought it was—“

Maybe if she knew. Maybe if I told her. “I have dyslexia,” I blurted.

“Rather good.” She grinned. “Oh that explains the creative spelling.”

Is she laughing at me?

She placed the pages on the desk. “This is good. In fact, it’s one of the best submissions I’ve received.”

What? What did she say? Did she say she thought my writing was good? I looked at my story and all I saw was a trail of red ink.

“It’s best to avoid… This piece could be a lot stronger if you… I think it would help if you…” She said, dancing through the pages. Then she hit on something tender.

No, she doesn't understand. There’s a reason why I wrote it like that. Can I… Can I tell her? “Actually,” I began tentatively. “There was… That is to say…” I gulped. I don’t want to upset her. I need her help. “May I do more than listen? I mean can I explain?”

Her eyes lifted from the paper and rested on my face. “Of course, Leanne." She smiled. "These are your words. You know the story better than I do. You know why you wrote it the way you did. Hold on to your vision. I’m only here to help.”

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