Redheaded Neanderlady

Redheaded Neanderlady
This is a photoshopped version of something I found in National Geographic about the time I started researching

Thursday, March 12, 2009

A writer's enlightenment

When I'm not working on my own Great Medieval Science Fiction Masterpiece With Neandertals, I spend a good deal of time critiquing other people's efforts.  To this end, I'm part of a Yahoogroup  called medieval_fiction_writers.  It's an online critique group for writers of historical fiction, many of whom don't just write "medieval" fiction. Recently, I've been expanding my pool of critiquers,  as time and energy permit, so to speak. In doing so,it's been an education. Critiquing someone else's work is, in my opinion, always educational anyway, for the writers are generally in various stages of writing and trying to get things published or polished.  And it shows.  I've had the experience of reading work that is basically "raw", a first draft or first attempt of some kind, and other work where the writing is essentially a finished product waiting only for some agent to pick it up or some publisher to publish it.And everything in between. I try to be helpful, and not too hard on the writers, for writing is a learning process, and a lifelong one, I think. I try to share what I know, and those who critique me do the same.  I've learned a lot this way, and I think my writing style and technique have improved since I started writing this. It's been a long slog, and I"m still working on it. And so are the other writers I critique. This is the joy of it:  you see a writer or writers develop, and hopefully publish something that many people want to read.


While my work isn't strict "historical fiction", I feel this group is broad enough to encompass anything that takes place in a historical period, and I appreciate that.  And learning to appreciate the efforts of other writers, even if I wouldn't approach the subject the way they do, is part of my own learning process.  So I look forward to see what other people are doing  in their writing efforts.

Anne G


Liam Guilar said...

Just a thank you for your comments about Lady Godiva and me. I couldn't work out any other way of replying. I'm sure she'd fit somewhere in a medieval science fiction novel. She seems to have been in almost everything else. Donoghue does a good job of trying to work out what her historical life would have been like, if you're interested in that lives of women in that period.

Anne Gilbert said...


I actually did read the Donoghue book as general background, and it was quite interesting the way the legend apparently developed. Unfortunately my book as written has several strong female charactersw, including the central female one, and as written, Godiva just wouldn't fit. OTOH, I can probably fit her into the prequel I will eventually write. I've also read the other book, about women in Anglo-Saxon England, again,to get a decent idea of what was going on,socially. In any case, I'm kind of following your musings, and my blog may well feature links to them, from time to time.
Anne G