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A pleasant surprise

When I got into work today, one of my Beta readers met me at my desk wanting to talk about Coventry. Considering the fact that I'd just given it to him at 0900 yesterday, I was surprised and from the intensity in his voice, I was certain he'd found some hideous flaw in my story. So, I grabbed a cup of coffee from the cafeteria to fortify myself and then joined him at his cubicle.

Now, without going into too much detail, to say my co-worker is a curmudgeon would be like saying "Gale Sayers knew how to play football". Most other curmudgeons aren't in the same league with him, at least when it comes to work-related things. He's never had a problem speaking his mind and the devil take the hindmost, so when he had "that" tone of voice, you'll have to forgive my trepidations.

We sat down the the binder with the story and his first words to me were "So, when's your next story coming out?" The confusion on my face must have been visible, because he continued, "I literally couldn't put this story down. I kept going, ' . . . and what happens next.'" He told me he'd sat down, thinking he'd read it over a couple of days and instead read it start to finish. It was only when he got to the end he realized he'd forgotten to make himself dinner or feed his cats.

Let me tell you, I must have had the biggest, silliest grin on my face when he said that. To me, that's the best compliment a writer can get, to draw a reader in so deeply that they don't want to stop reading your story. (Note, wishweaver has been applying the proper head-deflation techniques to me so I could get through doorways and quit floating.)

This was a huge compliment to me, because as I mentioned, he's not much of one to pull his punches. He's edited some of my technical writing at work before and let's just say, it hasn't always been pretty. Also, he's an old-school science fiction fan, so he's pretty well read up on not only current stuff but the classics. If he'd thought the story reeked, he'd have told me straight up, so I really feel pretty confident about Coventry now. :)

Apparently along with reading the story straight through, he'd made several notes in on the story, making a few good observations on some areas of naval terminology/behavior I could tighten up (He's a retired Navy Chief Warrant Officer). Being an Army guy, I always like to have someone from another service look over my stuff when I write about their branch.

I'm not certain when I'll get the story back from my other betas, and I'm going to go through it one more time myself looking for places to tighten it up a little more, but for tonight, I'm enjoying life.

Spent some time working on Harbinger tonight for BIC time. Knocked out 1721 words in an hour and a half and, if I wasn't getting tired, I could probably hammer out the rest of the chapter. But, since they sorta like me being awake at work, I guess I'll call it a night. One of these days, I hope to be a full-time writer, but until then, I'll have to keep being a mild-mannered (quit laughing, Wishweaver) tech writer by day, writer of fiction by night.

Current Harbinger Status

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
47,035 / 125,000
(37.0%)


Music listened to: None

Web Site of Note: The Wallace and Gromit Movie Site Snurched from kradical. I can NOT wait for this movie to come out!

Comments

( 1 howl — Howl with the Pack )
lady_cinnibar
May. 25th, 2005 03:59 am (UTC)
Yeah, that's a compliment. So... when's it coming out? (I know, it's only on beta reading now, but still....) I will eagerly await it, because if it's sucked *one* person in, it's prolly gonna suck me in too, and I *like* stories like that.
I had a teacher tell me that about one of my essays once. Talk about Blink worthy. I was just blinking, and staring, and about all I could say was 'huh?' Because essays are supposed to be *boring*, but he actually thought it was funny! (I was writing a filler essay on cultural current events, so I wrote it on why the American public reacted to the death of Princess Di. Then current events.) Needless to say, despite a couple of grammatical errors, I got an A. Teachers apparently like that too.... shutting up now. I 'talk' too much.
( 1 howl — Howl with the Pack )

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