i hate to make you read this: critique guilt
I feel guilty.
Critique group yesterday. Chapter 10 gallops along—pathos, intensity, drama.
Fearless leader reads with vigor and gusto. Including the “fudge” word.
Only it wasn’t “fudge”.
And Lord, the name-calling, including, “baby-lick”.
Only it wasn’t “lick”.
And by golly, Fearless Leader read it like she meant it!
At first I laughed, but then, I was mortified at what I had done to this tableful of refined ladies.
Week by week I have spooled out my story, made them care about my rogue’s gallery. They’re willing to go along for the ride. (Because they’re really good sports.)
Over nine chapters they’ve learned my main character’s story: hardship, trauma, sacrifice. So when the big moment came, and the “f” bomb exploded…
They were ready for it! Judging by the reaction, you might say they relished it.
Because the words MEANT SOMETHING. They were meant for anger, for the ultimate put-down, like they used to be. They weren’t scattered through the text to be cool. They didn’t pop out three and four times a paragraph instead of “um” and “uh”. The two offending words were each used once, strategically, and for great effect.
Okay, then. No guilt.
But then I think about Fearless Leader, her impeccable pageboy, her sweet smile, her lady-like voice, barking out those words…
I still gotta cringe.
Posted on April 30, 2009, in childrens' literature, end of western civilisation as we know it, writing, YA literature and tagged critique groups, end of western civilisation as we know it, f bomb, writing, YA lit, young adult. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.