Thursday, September 2, 2010

How are Your Propellers?

"... You generally start out with some overall idea that you can see fairly clearly, as if you were standing on a dock and looking at a ship on the ocean. At first you can see the entire ship, but then as you begin work you're in the boiler room and you can't see the ship anymore... What you really want in an editor is someone who's still on the dock, who can say, Hi, I'm looking at your ship, and it's missing a bow, the front mast is crooked, and it looks to me as if your propellers are going to have to be fixed."
~Michael Chrichton


And that, my friends, is a truly awesome way to explain the importance of beta readers and C.P.'s and editors... We all need people to check the status of our boat now and then!


Take a minute today to appreciate and thank your
"boat checkers".


Thank you, Valerie!
Thanks Shannon #1, Angela Ackerman, and Bethany
Thanks Elana and Shannon for the query help!

32 comments:

Terri Tiffany said...

This is a perfect description of what the editor I used did for me!!

Diane said...

Wonderful lifeboats they are. :O)

Jen said...

They are very special and each and everyone of them are thanked every day for their brilliance and encouragement when I'm in need of it the most!!

Great post Shannon!

Vicki Rocho said...

love this!

Kenda said...

So true! We can't do this alone, though sometimes it's lonely work :-)

Bethany Mattingly said...

You're welcome! And Thank you! for all the help you've given me as well! Such a great post!

Kelly said...

I totally agree. My first three chapters have been critiqued by a handful of people already and man I've changed and improved it vastly from their suggestions! Thanks to all the wonderful writers helpers out there!

Janna Qualman said...

Awesome way to look at it. Thanks, Shannon!

Julie said...

I couldn't ever get my stories to the next level without them. And they are kinda shiny people too. :)

Slamdunk said...

That does makes sense. Thanks for sharing the Crichton advice.

Carolyn V. said...

I agree! My crit group was just talking about this the other day. We critique each others work and need betas too. =)

Stephanie McGee said...

Excellent quote!

Jennie Englund said...

Dearest Shannon,

Missed you I have!!!

I love transportation quotes about writing. It's that whole journey/movement concept.

Like Emily Dickinson's "There is no frigate like a book."

Yummy!

Lola Sharp said...

Love this quote!
And I agree with you...GOOD CPs are invaluable and should be treasured and appreciated. I try my best to be a good one and to appreciate those that take care to give good critique. :)

Have a delightful holiday weekend!
Love,
Lola

Mary Aalgaard said...

After Aubrey gave me an eyebrow waxing this morning, I asked when she'd be available to do a read-through of my script with a few other friends/actors. Just think, defined eyebrows AND a helpful reader!

Tamika: said...

You are so right! Where would our writing be with the those special sets of eyes that help to capture all the right words and scenes, making our boat glisten:)

Patti Lacy said...

What a GREAT analogy! My propellers feel a bit rusty from working on three books at once. Or maybe just tired...

Patti

Theresa Milstein said...

That is a great description of why the editors of our manuscripts are so vital. Thank you! I may have to borrow/steal that quote.

Elana Johnson said...

Oh, man, this is SO TRUE. Beyond. Thanks for the reminder!!

Kittie Howard said...

Thanks, Shannon, for another great post. I especially liked the boat/movement analogy. I'm slowly getting into position where I've written enough stories to seek a beta reader for fresh eyes as to pulling it all together.

Jemi Fraser said...

That may be my absolute favourite writing quote ever!!! Love it :)

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

Excellent analogy! You need someone to see it from a distance! Great CPs are invaluable!

Lenny said...

hi miss shannon! boats are cool especially if they got all their parts. for me my beta is my brother and hes real good at helping all my writing sound lots better. it neat cause hes right here and we talk about stuff and i can fix things while hes sitting with me. he helps me get my boat so it has all its parts and doesnt sink.
...smiles from lenny

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Shannon -

Contest feedback (Genesis), writing group colleagues, and friends teach me so much. We all need a little help from our friends. :)

Blessings,
Susan

Cleverly Inked said...

Awesome analogy!

Kathi Oram Peterson said...

Love, love, love this saying!

Just today my editor sent me some wonderful advice. I'm truly grateful she's watching out for me.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

What a great quote. Sometimes I'm rudderless, and I sure appreciate all the crit partners who've helped me back on course.

Jennie Bailey said...

What a GREAT quote. Thanks for sharing! I'm thanking my boat checkers with a brunch at my house this Sunday - what perfect timing! I think I'll use this quote on little cards at the place settings!

Valerie Geary said...

Great quote! It made me laugh-- "Um... your bow is missing... You're sinking! You're sinking!!" Anyway...you're welcome and thank you!

Solvang Sherrie said...

That quote is perfect!

David J. West said...

Hi Shannon-great tips.

Awesome you're in Montana-I grew up in Hamilton (and hope to move back by next year)

Raquel Byrnes said...

Thank You Erin!! She is honest, helpful, and encouraging. I've never been steered wrong with her helping to steer.

Great post.

Edge of Your Seat Romance

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