Critique is About More Than Just Improving Your Novel

TV sitcom Home Improvement characters Al (left) and Tim (right)

In a previous post, I shared thoughts I’ve had about my novel being critiqued by my critique group.

One post is nowhere near enough words to cover my insights on this process, which is still in progress.

One particular insight has taken me all the way back to the 1990s.

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The Joy Burden of Sex for Women in the Middle Ages – pt. 1 (Medieval Mondays #10b)

Medieval perception of women’s sexuality

The first two Medieval Mondays posts on sex focused on proper sexual conduct as dictated by the Church.

But no discussion about sex, be it in a historical or a modern context, can be deemed complete without a parallel discussion about the societal perception of women as sexual beings, as well as their sexual agency, or lack thereof.

The two topics are intrinsically linked.

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Thoughts on Having My Novel Critiqued

Fourth (left) and partial sixth (right) drafts of my WIP

It’s the worst feeling in the world.

The end.

But of course that’s not the end at all.  Indeed, the realization of how wretched having your work critiqued can be is only just the beginning of a new stage of your writing journey.

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Saying So Long (For Now) to Medieval Mondays

Three years ago, I decided that writing a research essay on some aspect of medieval history once a month  would be a good idea.

To be clear, it was a good idea.  Although I’d already written the first draft of the first book of my historical fiction trilogy in 2006, I went on a six year writing hiatus after that, during which time I’d convinced myself I was giving up writing forever.

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What’s in a (Historical Place) Name?

Previously I blogged about my efforts in coming up with fictional surnames for the characters in my historical fiction WIP.

These names had to be Anglo-Norman in origin, and involved me increasing my French vocabulary, researching Norman toponymy, and a ton of trial and error to create nice-looking names.

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What’s in a (Historical Character) Name?

I’m continuing to answer the burning questions about writing as part of my 10th writing birthday celebration.

Previously, I answered a question from my good friend, Lydia.  But there was a second question that she put before me:

How do you come up with interesting character names in your work?

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