So, I sat down this evening to get started on NaNoEdMo, and began reviewing some of the many critters.org critiques I got on Chapter 1 of ‘The Scroll.’ There were a lot of them, and a lot of mostly-good opinions in each critique, though I had to chuckle about the critter who was so certain that ‘pyjamas’ and ‘omelette’ were typos. Perhaps in the US they are, but I won’t apologize for using Canadian variants!
Anyway, after about half an hour of this, I realized that I could easily get drawn into trying to tweak the chapter so that it would please as many readers as possible, but that wasn’t what I really needed to do at this point. I want to have a sample chapter that will look promising enough to Kij Johnson that she’ll accept me for the workshop, but it doesn’t really need to be spotless for that, and spending a lot of time polishing beforehand might be counter-productive, in that if I go to Kansas convinced that my sample chapters are perfect, it’ll be harder for me to really listen to what other people tell me about them when I’m there. The responses I got from critters.org were very positive, overall, and that’s an important point.
And after that, I realized something else. I’d put a bunch of qualifiers in front of ‘what I needed to do before I was ready to apply for the Kansas workshop’, but most of it really isn’t necessary. I was getting confused between what I needed to send to Kij to apply for the workshop, and what I need to have ready in mid-May, assuming that I’m accepted, to send to all the other writers who’ll be coming to the workshop. So, I’m only a few days away from having my application all ready to go – one sample chapter and 5-10 pages of synopsis, and the synopsis is mostly ready. I just need to tweak it to make sure that somebody else can follow it, and not get confused about who one of the characters is, or something else like that I can smooth out with more description.
So, I’m in the interesting and fun position of not having to push to reach a goal because it’s not as distant a point on the horizon I thought. Cool!