Constructive Criticism – Jeanna Skinner

Brenda:
Since starting a romance writing course, I’ve noticed lots of ways I can apply the brilliant feedback to all aspects of my life. Okay, so the cashier in Waitrose looked at me funny when I suggested she was lacking in agency, and I’m not sure my boss appreciated it when I said she needs to stop telling me what to do, but show me instead.

But my sex life – it’s never been better. The other night, emboldened by half a bottle of chardonnay and wise words from my copy of ‘Romance Writing For Beginners’ imprinted upon my heart, I drummed up the courage to talk to Geoffrey about his serious pacing issues. Yes, he was a little shocked at first, but he’s improved so much since. Now he’s hitting all the right beats with every headboard-rattling, toe-curling thrust, and the final denouement is oh-so satisfying. And just this morning, he surprised me when he seemed to acquiesce to my idea of taking our story in a romantic, new direction.
It feels great to be able to pass on what I’ve learnt and help others.

Geoffrey:
Look. I get it. Maybe I didn’t pay her enough attention before, but since Brenda joined that ruddy creative writing course up at the college last month, it’s all she’s carped on about. I wouldn’t mind, but she’s become rather erm, unreliable around ‘ere – and some folks might say, unlikable too. It’s great she’s found her voice, but I do wish it wasn’t quite so snarky.
Anyway, I’ve been reading that ruddy book she keeps leaving lyin’ around, and I can’t make head nor tail of most of it. But there’s this one part that gave me an idea – and Brenda’s all ’bout ideas lately.

So I’ve arranged a surprise for her tonight; I hope she likes it. I’ll try anything to give her the happy ever after of her dreams. Even if it means “your protagonist sometimes has to share the page with well-developed, yet sympathetic, secondary characters”.

Like Miss D’Meanour, the dominatrix from next door.

 

Contents Drawer Issue 14

Image via Pixabay

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