Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Inner Angry Monster does revisions

It's revision time, again.

I'm channeling my inner angry monster.  It hates my work.  It thinks I suck.  It picks me apart.  But lucky for me, my angry monster and I have an understanding: it can be as critical as it wants to be, and it doesn't hurt my feelings.  Something about it actually being a part of my psyche seems to shelter me from the feelings of worthlessness that usually accompany a harsh critique.

So we've talked, and I've agreed to let the angry monster take over the keyboard temporarily, to give me an honest assessment of what he (she?) thinks of my manuscript thus far.  (He/she has read about 40% of it, thus far.)

Introducing: my inner angry monster!


Hi.  I'm Beth's inner angry monster.  You can call me Growl.  (Yes, I am male.  Isn't that obvious by looking at me?  She can be such a moron sometimes!)
But really, this is for Beth, so she can get an honest assessment of what I think of the first 40% of her novel.  Because someone needs to kick her off her high horse and tell her when things suck.  Not sure why she wanted me to blog to do it, considering her only two followers are, at the moment, also the other ones reading the manuscript.  But whatever.  I guess she's just pretending they won't read this.  Yeah, whatever.  Pay no attention to that monster behind the curtain.  *Snort*

Okay, Beth, here it is.  You talk too much.  And by talk I mean write.  (But you talk too much, too.)  Your prose is repetitive, and sometimes you say things that are already obvious from what's going on in the scene.  Tone down the inner monologue.  You're not Woody Allen!  Often, we know what your protagonist is thinking by what she does/how she reacts.  You don't have to explain it ad nauseum.  We're not stupid.  Same thing with the other characters.

What's the deal with your heroine and hero?  I mean, they seem to go from zero to 60 pretty quickly, if you know what I mean.  I think you need more sex and/or violence in those early scenes between them.  Not that they need to have sex right away.  (Not that I'd ever object to sex...especially hot monster sex...yummy!)  And they don't need to kill each other.  But do they hate each other, or are they attracted to one another?  Maybe it's both.  (And yes, I'm benefitting from my unfortunate insights into your brain...ugh.)  So show it.  I want to smell the sex and blood.  Whoohoo!

(Monsters are hedonists, by the way.  Or at least I am.  Just thought you should know, for the record.)

You've got some consistency problems.  How long did your heroine live in New York?  How many super-secret special necklaces does she have, exactly?  Is her former best friend dead or not?  Really, Beth, this is just careless.  Don't you know your own story?

Chapter 1 starts a few weeks after the prologue, but the story doesn't actually start until six months, and several scenes, later.  I think you should cut out those in-between scenes and just get to the meat.  Mmmm, meat.

Ummm...Growl?...Beth here.  Is there anything you did like?

Why should I tell you that?

Because it's generally accepted within a critique that you'll tell the author both what you liked and what you didn't.

Ugh, fine.  I liked your opening scene.  That's awesome.  There's lots of blood.  And your heroine feels bad about what's happened, so it's not like she's a complete monster.  I am, so I wouldn't mind if she were, but I don't think that's what you were going for.

And when you do show sexual tension between hero and heroine, it's awesome.  I should want them to bang all the time.  You have it when they first meet, and you have it later on, at the bar and afterwards, but not so much in between.

I like your violent scenes.  Violence = fun!

And I like that your heroine has a nice rack.

It's a novel.  How would you know she has a nice rack?

Because she has a nice rack in my head!  Plus, you said it in the story.

Oh...uh...thank you?

You're welcome.  That's just how I roll.

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