Japanese History and Research for a Historical Novel

How to make no money and lose your mind, lesson two

This writing stuff is much harder than we realized. David found this writing site called Scribophile. It is a web site for writers where people look at your work and critique it and you do the same for them. After arriving there and showing off our shiny new novel, we learned we used the ‘passive voice’ too much and were overly fond of adverbs. Who knew? Now, it has been mumble-mumble years since I took an English class, but I wasn’t even sure what a passive voice was, and I certainly didn’t know that adverbs were bad words. My mother had a different list of forbidden words.

We also learned our first chapters, while mildly amusing, did not grab readers or get the plot moving fast enough. Poor David had to completely rewrite the first three chapters (for the third time) after the critiquers got through with us. But, painful as it has been, we both know our novel is better for the experience. Now we wait with trepidation for our critiquers to plow their way through the rest of what we have written. I am sure we have more rewrites in our future.

We are about 3/4 of the way through with the novel. We have a pretty good idea of what will be in the last 1/4 (unless we change it again). We WILL finish it if it kills us. It just might do that too…


  1. Samuel Edwards

    Thanks for mentioning Scribophile. Because of this post, I joined up a few weeks ago. I feel like my writing has already gotten so much better!

    • Carol

      Scrib has really helped us. Being able to get a critique on a whole novel from other writers is invaluable. Of course, some of those critiques were painful, but I know we have learned a lot.

      We also love reading and critiquing the other writers on the site. We have learned as much from critiquing others as we do from reading critiques of our own work.

      See you on Scrib!!

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