But second only to my editor, there’s one person whose opinion really makes me think. That’s my Fabu CP. Sure, we’re friends now and I love her like my luggage, but that’s not how our relationship started. It was a business relationship –one built around saying not nice things to each other when the situation called for it. She had my respect long before she had my love.
My CP has to read through some rough stuff. She’s the first set of eyes on everything I write. If it’s wrong, it’s her job to tell me. If I go too far – or not far enough – she has to be the one to redirect me. She read at least four complete drafts of The Secret Mistress Arrangement before it sold – that’s commitment to the cause. She’s had a hand in the plot of every book I’ve written (and been the reason at least one has been archived on the hard drive because she finally had to tell me that it just wasn’t working at all. That takes guts and a long view of the situation as a whole.). Trust me, I’m a much better writer thanks to her guidance over the years. I owe her a lot.
So I trust her, but more importantly, I respect her. I’m often awed by her – and not just her incisive critting skills, either. She’s an amazing writer who often leaves me gaping at the way she strings words together. For the record, Pamela Hearon ROCKS.
I’ve been struggling with the current WIP. It’s been hard to find my groove with this one. And Pam’s been handholding me through it, dog love her. But in her notes from the most recent chapter she critted was exactly the thing my ego needed to hear, even if she didn’t know it at the time.
I remember writing the paragraph her comment referenced. It was getting close to time for AC to come home, so I was winding down my writing for the day. I like to end in the middle of something or on a strong note so I’ll have something cooking until I can get back to it. This paragraph was that stopping point. And I was kinda pleased with the image and the wording.
And when it came back from Pam, she’d written in red next to it “Man, I wish I’d written that.”
That got my attention. Yeah, it’s great when someone points out a nice phrase or some clever wording, but to have another writer – a writer you respect – wish they’d written it? Wow. That’s pretty damn cool. That’s high praise. That made my whole day. Made me think I’d finally gotten a hold of these characters, and that we all might get a happy ending after all. Made me feel the hair-pulling and teeth-gnashing might have been worth it. Six words, probably just off the cuff to let me know the image worked, made me feel like Nora Freakin’ Roberts.
And that my friends, is why good CPs are worth their weight in gold. Not only because they can tell you what’s going wrong, they let you know when it’s going right.
What’s the best compliment you’ve gotten recently?