(Or, Can’t Help Marking Things)
A charity water fact: The 2012 Crits for Water campaign has raised over $2,000 so far, which gives 100 people water for 20 years. Our goal is to help another 400 people.
And romance author Elise Rome is on board, helping out for the second year in a row (see her 2011 interview: Tempering Your Overprotective Muse). She’s got a 50-page critique up for auction here.
Meet super-mommy slash author, Elise.
Elise Rome has never forgiven Margaret Mitchell for making her fall in love with Scarlett and Rhett in Gone with the Wind and then not giving them a happy ending. She likes to think that she makes up for this injustice with each romance novel she writes. When she isn't telling stories about sexy, headstrong heroes and intelligent, independent heroines, Elise stays busy chasing after her two young daughters, semi-attempting to do housework, and hiking in the beautiful foothills of Colorado.
NAE: What is your favorite thing about receiving a critique back?
Elise: I really appreciate having another set of eyes looking over my work. I usually edit as I write and then go back to edit even more, but I know that there are things that my critique partners catch that I never would by myself. And when I do something right, I love getting that confirmation from a critique partner that it worked for them as well.
NAE: Why is critiquing important?
Elise: I see critiques as feedback from the author's first readers. Yes, they probably read more slowly and analyze more than normal readers do, but they're still readers when it comes down to it. If I don't have a strong opening, my CPs will tell me. If they don't like my hero, my CPs will tell me. They're not just there to correct my spelling or grammar or tell when a sentence doesn't work; they're invaluable in making all aspects of the book as good as it can be before it's actually published, and my writing would definitely not be as strong without them.
NAE: Your critique style is like which of the following: Red Pen Editor, Overall Commenter, Supportive Critic, You’ll Know It If I Catch It?
Elise: Red Pen Editor. Even when people just ask for me to beta read, I can't help marking things when I see them. Unless something really strikes me while I'm doing line edits, I'll save all the good stuff for my summary at the end. My marks and comments in the actual manuscript are for me to tell the author what I think needs worked on.
NAE: Name one of your favorite 2012 books (coming out or already released), and why.
Elise: MARIANA by Susanna Kearsley just blew me away. This is the first book of hers I've read, and I can't wait to get time to read other books in her backlist. It's not really a romance novel as much as a mainstream time travel with romantic elements, but I still loved everything about it. She has such a fluid, easy way of writing that pulls you in with each sentence, and although the pace was never gripping as it might be in suspense novels, I couldn't stop turning the pages.
Crits for Water Quickfires – And, go:
1. Oxford comma? Yes! Leaving it out drives me crazy.
2. Should "I like him too" have a comma before "too"? Yes.
3. Italicize or underline? Italicize.
4. How do you separate scenes: #, ***, line break? ***
5. What's your favorite verb? To love. ;)
Thank you, Elise! Elise’s novella, The Sinning Hour, is scheduled to be released soon. And it looks fabulous.
A man accustomed to getting whatever he wishes and a woman whose wishes have never come true: at night, all they need is one another.
For those who’d like to see the types of things Elise can’t help marking in a critique, take a stab at her 50-page critique here, and save lives.