Critiquing a genre you dislike Part 2

Are you one of those people able to discard a book after 10 pages?  Me too.

Maybe it’s because of my age.  I have spent 50 years reading, on planes and subways, in sleeping bags and bathrooms, and frankly I feel that by now that after 10 pages, I have given the author his chance.  Reading time is precious to me, so if he hasn’t got me hooked in the first 10 pages, I’m waiting on the movie – or my sister’s copy.

‘Cause my sister is younger than me and still feels the need to finish everything she picks up.  So if my sister appears in my kitchen, slams a book on my  counter, unholsters her pistol and says, “Keep reading,” then I give it another chance.  Gone Girl, good example.

But joining a writing group means, well, you know what it means.  Suck it up.

Part of my problem is that my dislike for the genre makes me even more impatient with the flaws of the novel.  So if the characters don’t resonate, I tend to think it’s because I can’t stand bodice rippers (or whatever) anyway.  Not true.  Stunted characterization is what you are there to point out.  That’s your job.

So essentially, it is your job to ignore the genre and respect the writer.  ‘Cause your turn is coming up, and not everyone likes __________.




Ode to my kid

She’s not me; she’s better.

I had a kid late in life.  Yes, selfish – lots of places I wanted to go, and did.  Lots of things I wanted to do and see -and did.

Then I met my husband who is different.  Because who you like when you are in a hurry, like in your 20’s and 30’s, is a different guy than who you like when you are 40 and sick of slick and shiny.

And we had a kid.  She’s 24.   And holy crap, she turned out great.  I mean GREAT. Independent, hard working, thoughtful, and focused.

Which means if I never write another book, or sell one, or get on a bestseller list or walk to the stage to receive a prize, I have done more good in one human being than any bestseller could do.



Am I rushing the story?

“She arrived frantic and sweating.”   WHAT HAPPENED?


ADD A SCENE that adds information about the character, her motivation, her backstory.