No, I don’t want the math, thank you very much. I know I am slow, very behind on the ms I agreed to beta (so sorry Max 😭) and now I have to read and comment one submission a day if I want to stay on track.
When I would much rather write my Horny WIP which has arrived at a place where whump and sex take turns which like, nice.
We were sort of introduced to each other in a group mail. I was excited about that part at least. I am an optimist and immediately believe I will get to read six of the most amazing book beginnings ever. On the day of the mail, only one other group member spoke up and sent their material. Welp.
But it turned out out fine. I got my material within days and was hype as always, expecting to rad six exceptional book beginnings. And, as always, no such luck.
I am the first to admit I am a very picky reader. My sensitivity to casual sexism is very high and if I find racism, however implicit, you should be worried. (Insert rant how I shouldn’t be the one to tell people a story reeks of white saviour complex, like come ON. I am white. If I see it, it’s bad. This is NOT about any of the things I read for Futurescapes, just to be clear.)
Back to business.
I hope my discord takes me by my word and kicks my ass into next week should I ever get the idea to critique as a service. Man, I hate having to work on things I don’t connect to. Also, I wish I wouldn’t think “why do we allow men to write novels again?” so often because there’s obviously men around to who this isn’t applicable. Still. There’s some systemic shit going down that route. Just saying.
As I sat reading and pinning down my thoughts, Impostor Syndrome-san came home to hit me hard. Like, who am I to tell people their queries could be better, when my query was out there not garnering requests either? The gall!
But not all was bad. It never is. When joining up for critiquing stuff (or slushing) I will always hope for bags of golden words thrown at me. Yes, I will always be wrong. But there will still be gold.
The greatest challenge for me is trying to help with a genre or setting I know zilch about. Like, nobody explicitly asked for the opinion of a neurodiverse, non-binary, German!
Is it a different perspective on the writing? I guess it is.
Is it a helpful one?
I am also not the best at wrapping up criticism about things I’m just *le tired* about. (And I am tired of so many things.) On the other hand, I love leaving happy notes and emojis in the comments. I think it is very important to let authors know what works for you. And in every pages I read, there was always something that worked.
On the third hand I got more and more nervous about my own pages. Nothing I had gotten was remotely close to what I sent out. I felt like the class clown nobody had requested. Sava isn’t ‘serious fiction’. Sava couldn’t be serious for a second if her life depended on it.
I start my pages with a bloody meme and it goes downhill from there. I wrote that! There’s likely horrible puns in it already. The horse is called potato. Sava can’t look at a woman without going Hot Damn™. I end the pages sounding like Varric Tethras.
Nothing to do but wait, read, and worry.