“How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop?”
*Mr. Owl takes the Tootsie Pop from the boy and begins to lick*
*Mr. Owl hands the empty stick back to the boy*
If you were a kid in the ‘80’s, you’ll remember this commercial: The wise old owl in the graduation cap perched on a branch looking superior, and the boy standing below him, hanging on bated breath, aching to know how many licks it took to get to the luscious center of a lollipop. It’s coming back to you, isn’t it?
Well, folks….when it comes to this book, it’s taking more then two licks to get to the center. I would like to say I have completed chapter three, which I thought I did…
…but, alas, I haven’t. So my pre-readers tell me.
My pre-readers/editors/commentators are not just your typical sort.
They are driven, honest, off-the-cuff women. Strong women. Women who don’t take my bullshit and typically when they do take my crap, they dish it right back.
You may be asking yourself, why would anyone want these women in their life?
I am a rough nut to work with. I have very strong, viable (and what I consider, typically right) opinions. I know these characters better then anyone. At least you would think, right? Well, not so much. These characters are based on every single man and woman in my life.
And if you are one of those people, prepare to be scared…or not. ;)
I have been blessed with five pre-readers who all look for something different when they read, which is why I chose them.
They each have individual talents that they bring to the table to make me a better writer. And they all have mouths that would, under a normal capacity would piss someone off but again, this is why I chose them. I picked them for their willingness to deal with a bitch like myself. (And no matter what anyone tells you, I am, but I heard that is an endearing quality all of them love…*snort* who knew?).
Anyway, here is an intro to the beautiful and wonderfully talented women who read for me:
Brenda (My sister)…Looks for grammar and syntax errors. Can be highly critical and is very difficult to gauge a reaction from. Like really. A sample of a conversation between her and I after she reads something that she is happy (or unhappy) about:
Me: What’d you think?
Her: It’s good.
Me: That’s it?
Her: What do you want me to do, turn cartwheels?
Me: That would be nice.
Her: *insert sarcastic tone* SQUEE!!! *PAUSE* Is that better?
Me: *insert eyeroll* Is there anything I should change?
Her: *gives example of sentence* It’s crap. Fix it.
Her: I’m not the writer. Figure it out.
I chose her because she tells me why it’s crap. She is normally the last one to get the chapter because of this reason. Also, she is the only one who gets multiple conformed copies. I love her. She is my Kiki. My Sam. My girl.
Heather (Gal Pal #1)…Looks for continuity. I mean really looks. She will get a chapter and dissect it to death. If a character got a door slammed in his face, why is she storming out with another door being slammed in his face a paragraph later? She is the 2nd to last person to receive my chapters. Why? Because she is almost as critical as my sister when it comes to continuity. She rides me hard, but you know, the masochist in me really likes that. ;) She is a girl after my own heart. She loves unconditionally throughout every one of my rants. I hold her close to my heart and love her dearly.
Crystal (Gal Pal #2)…She’s my idea wall. Any idea, thought or random notion I have, she is there to bounce it off of. She’s one of the only ones who can handle the inner workings of my head for what it is: Fuck-craziness. When I am frustrated, she tells me to step away. When I am happy about a sentence, she is there to encourage me. In the end, when the chapter is written she is the one to tell me it’s great and wonderful. She is my ego-feeder and I love her.
Lindsay (Gal Pal #3)…Emotional Geiger-counter. She reads a chapter and I get a reaction. Anger, sadness, frustration, happiness…it doesn’t matter. If it evokes an emotion in her, I know I am doing something right and I am on the right track. You can call her a part of my ego-feeder clan, but I don’t think so. I think being able to track a person’s emotions through your story is what counts. It gives the story relevance. Because why else do people read? They want to be entertained. To be entertained is to provoke and evoke emotions. But I am segueing. The short of it (although we may be past that) is that I adore her, love her.
Carolyn (Gal Pal #4)…I saved Caro for last because of one thing. She’s me. Whether or not she would ever admit it, she is just as strong-willed as me. But alas, she is far nicer then I am about it. She takes my shit and gives it right back. Everything that needs to be taken into consideration, she thinks about. How is the story relevant? Can you compare it to this or that? What if someone did compare it to this show or that book? Are you sure you want to go down that path? What are trying to achieve? She’s my rock. And, once again, I love her (are you sick of me saying that yet?).
All of these women would piss off any other normal person. But again, I am far from normal (these women will tell you this). And trust me, I get pissed. As a matter of fact that is typically my normal reaction if I get an indifferent or bad or critical critique. But after several minutes of whining, raging and downright pissy behavior, I concede that they do this because they love me and they want what’s best for me and this story. So before I continue, I had to give my shout-outs and my love to these five who are behind me. The five I will be indebted to forever. The five who I will love the rest of my life.
Now, wipe the tears from your eyes girls, roll up your sleeves. It’s time to get back to work.
Back to my Tootsie Roll hoping to get to that illusive center.
By God, one way or another, I will get through chapter three.
Smooches & Stars!!! XOXOXOXOX
~Christine J. aka Cozzy