Wednesday, October 29, 2008

on reliable feedback and semicolons

A few nights ago, I sent a chapter from my nonfiction manuscript to my twin brother for his feedback. He returned it, and I read the comments this morning.

Awesome. I mean, right on the money. Love that.

I had felt pretty good about what I had written, but when I read his feedback, I realized it was far from finished. And I refer to the entire manuscript, not just that chapter. I believe in the project and what I'm writing, but it still doesn't feel like my best work, and I really need to change that before the deadline, which is fast approaching. I'm going to send him the rest of the manuscript this evening, and hopefully he'll be up to the task of responding.

Granted, my twin brother isn't exactly the "spiritual self-help" kind of guy, but he's an excellent reader because he asks the questions that I need to anticipate from my audience. Moreover, he knows and gets storytelling, and since half of this book consists of narratives, well...
And I just plain trust him.

Perhaps the most helpful feedback was my wombmate's pointing out just how obsessed I've become w/ semicolons; he admonished me w/ this: "'Don't use semicolons. They are transvestite hermaphrodites signifying absolutely nothing. All they do is show you've been to college.' -Kurt Vonnegut, Jr." (did you see what I did there, btw?) Better yet, he got so fed up that he wrote "Kill it! KIIIIILLLL IIIIIIT!!"

On that note, I must face my day, which is challenging me to squeeze in more car repair, grading papers, and more manuscript writing, among other things (would have loved to have gone to the Obama rally, but apparently you need tickets for that?).

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