It’s over, and though I’m exhausted I’m happy – and inspired. Eve Silver was the PAN author who critiqued our group’s submissions. The other authors included a writer of YA, another historical writer, and a contemporary romantic suspense author. So we had a wide range of styles/voices. Eve offered her advice calmly and gently – and it was all constructive. Thank you, Eve!

Now for her critique of my first pages … where to begin … she thought I had a strong voice and that I should be sending things out for submissions. She also was intrigued by one of the elements in my storyline. She’d never seen it in a story before and thought I should use that to turn the story from a straight historical romance into an historical paranormal romance.

Whoa! What was that? Paranormal? Where the heck did that come from?

And more … make it a bit darker and it would be a great Gothic!

Now, two things occurred to me at that time

  1. Eve writes Gothic paranormals – so does she see everyone’s writing as potential Gothic paranormal? Hmm. Had to think about that for a bit — well, there was another historical author and she didn’t suggest that lady turn her story into a paranormal, so probably not, but she may be more sensitive to potential paranormals than others.
  2. Previously I’ve written mainly historical fantasies — which, yes, may fall into a paranormal realm. So when I read those 5 pages, I found at least three elements that could very easily become paranormal. Maybe I did find it hard to leave my old genre behind and subconsciously added those elements.

Which leads me to ask myself (as she asked me) … why did I decide to try NOT writing in the fantasy realm and go straight historical?

Hmm. Another good question. I think it was because I didn’t think there were many publishing opportunities for paranormal romance. However Eve, and the other authors at the table, have set me straight on that.

So now I have to ask myself — what genre DO I want to write? Do I want to continue to write straight historical? Or do I want to go back into the fantasy market? Hmm.

And if I decide to change Fallen Gargoyles into a paranormal, just how big a job is that going to be to rewrite it … again?! Fairly large. Ouch!

When she suggested it, I must admit it surprised me but immediately ideas crowded into my head and I began seeing all sorts of possibilities for driving Nathaniel and Amelia both nuts and together as they try to figure out just what the heck is going on.

And on the plus side, it gives me a chance to cut back on some of the angst and get into some fairly fun (for me) scary stuff. And it shouldn’t be too much of a stretch for me – after all I’ve lived in haunted houses.

After the critique
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5 thoughts on “After the critique

  • March 10, 2007 at 5:01 pm

    Hi Leah —
    We had a terrific group, didn’t we?
    I enjoyed swapping ideas/opinions and wish you the very best luck in revising F.G., no matter what angle you decide.

    Paula (I write as Wylie Kinson)

  • March 10, 2007 at 5:06 pm

    OH! So you’re Wylie — I’ve seen your blog, but didn’t realize it was you! I found it much easier than I thought it would be. Eve did a great job! I’m going to let it sit for a couple days – and pick up Eve’s book, and a few of the other authors she’s recommended and see what possibilities are there — but there definitely are paranormal possibilities for Fallen Gargoyles. Which makes me wonder why I hadn’t seen it before! Fresh eyes were so needed!

  • March 10, 2007 at 5:44 pm

    I’m glad you had a good session. I did too. You could write both, I’ve often wondered about crossing genres (though I haven’t done it yet).

    Sorry we didn’t get to talk more, we’ll have to have a chat next month for sure! 🙂

  • March 11, 2007 at 1:42 pm

    Hi Leah. I’m a TRW member at large. 🙂

    It’s funny that we don’t always see the seeds of what our writing can be until someone removed from it points it out. I love paranormal historicals and wish I could write them. It sounds like you had a great meeting. 🙂

  • March 11, 2007 at 8:02 pm

    I’m glad you had a good day. I always get stressed preparing for something like that, but I’ve always been glad I went – and it sounds like you had an especially productive day.

    I like what I’ve seen of this as it is, but I’m also intrigued by the ideas being tossed around and will be interested to see what you decide to do with it.

    Sue L

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