Friday, April 21, 2017

The Land of Venison and Honey

 I paid a local author to critique the questionable query letter I created for my novel, The Chorus of the Crows. The move prompted me to read her book...

"There's a lot to be said for conserving words," was one of Vac's unintentional witticisms. 

Sarah Stonich, Vacationland

Conserving words. That would be a nice way of describing my query letter critique from the author. My critique was slight - possibly rushed - even so, I loved her book Vacationland. Here are two more great lines from Sarah Stonich...

The sun, too, now hiding behind a cloud with tails of mist that follow, like the farts that trail her father. 


She fetches a lawn chair from the porch just as bats start to scallop out from the eaves and dusk begins to suck away the color. 


It was a great read: Whimsically poetic with a wile use of words - wonderful. There were so many sentences that pulled me back, prompting me to re-read them. The story takes us to a fictional Minnesota resort called Naledi Lodge - way up north. So far, that some of the cast of characters resemble comedic Fargo characters. But not all of the characters live up north; some are tourists whose paths intersect with Naledi in subtle ways, almost as if dispersed into the wind like cottonwood seeds. At the end of almost every chapter, I thought, "That was my favorite one."

I also laughed more than once about the mention of venison, since my freezer is full of the stuff. I felt like I was a kindred spirit with the venison chow-mein eating cast of characters. Does that sound weird? Well, the meat is healthy and when you have a freezer full, you have to get creative. 

I might not have discovered this book if I wouldn't have hired the author to critique my query letter. I still don't know if I've created a good query. I contemplated hiring another author to critique my revision, but I figured I might end up even more confused. I'm still in awe that The Loft Literary Center offers this opportunity. It is pretty darn amazing to be able to get feedback from a living, breathing writer - even if I felt my critique suffered from temporary asthma - it was worth it. 

The author suggested I change the title of my book to Chorus of the Crows instead of The Chorus of the Crows. 

I think that's a great idea!


Linda Hensley said...

What a great opportunity for feedback. I suspect that every person you ask for an opinion will have one, and probably something to teach you in the process -- as long as the critiques only cause temporary asthma :)

Pat Tillett said...

Always nice to get constructive feedback. As long as it really is constructive.
I love the second quote (the one with the fart). It reads like some kind of perverse Haiku...