I don’t read reviews unless my editor gives them to me – I figure I have enough problems – so I generally only see her copy of what Kirkus has to say, and they are always decent, if not always particularly kind. (I am greatly blessed for this decency – I have seen them be outright vicious, and know my time will come.) This review was strong, but I am indicted for “clunky” dialogue, which makes me chuckle. I’m actually pretty proud of my dialogue skills – most days. But, some days they, and the rest of my narrative chops, are pretty crap. Clunky is a generous description; at times they’re outright sloppy. Trying to shrink-fit and meld pieces of a story together, some older, some brand new, is like taping up drywall, spackling holes, mudding, painting. It’s all remodeling the house.
I’m grateful today for the mercy of the first draft, for the awkwardness of the words splayed gracelessly on the screen, for the belief that I will sand and shove those unbeautiful clunkers into shape.