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 by 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. 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. 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...