Blog Chain: The Things That Go BUMP in the Night!

It's Blog Chain time again. New member Matt has come up with a fun question for us.

What is your all-time favorite monster? You can take this in any direction you'd like. For example: my most bad-ass monster would easily be a dragon, and it is my favorite in some ways, but you don't have to go with that kind of measurement. Like me, you could go with the most ridiculously hilarious monster you ever heard of, or, like Stephanie Meyer, you could go with the most romantic creature to ever grace the pages of mythology. Or like Carrie Ryan, you could choose the old standby: Zombies. One alone might not be much to handle, but the horde is probably the single most powerful monster force ever invented in gaming, film, literature, or legend. It's up to you: what's your favorite monster?

I've been debating about this for quite some time. It's not that I don't have a favorite monster. It was whether I wanted to go literal and choose a monster that was *sort of* flesh and bone. Or whether I wanted to be more metaphorical and choose a creature that existed only in the dark deep pits of the human soul and mind where we fear to tread.

Decisions... decisions....

There have been monsters that scared me as a kid. And there have been monsters that I truly loved due to their lovable nature. And there have been ones that I absolutely loathed. Like the one below. Truly, I loath him. If I ever see one dancing on the store shelf, I might just go Jason with the hockey mask and machete on his little red a**!

It is interesting how many people on the blog chain haven't chosen monsters from literature. There are some dozzies out there -- the original monsters. I don't mean so much of the vampires or witches. But the other creatures that get downplayed, like the giants, ogres or goblins that can rank pretty high on the monster list.

Oh well. If I must choose a monster, I will choose one due to his spunk. This guy is one mean dude. He could beat out against any dragon, muppet or Twilight character in a caged death match. Seriously, he is the monster of all monsters. Although he can speak English, he sticks with his main language of "rathsmagrably-spithzz." You could hear him coming miles away as he approached as a whirlwind of ferocious claws and teeth. He is a spitting, eating machine.

Katrina posted her favorite monster here. Eric will posts his tomorrow.

Blog Chain: Let's Hear It For The Crits!

Sarah has the blog chain control for this round. She asks:

Do you work with critique partners? How did you find your crit pals, and what influence have they had on your work?

I do work with crit partners, although I would like to work with more people. I do believe the more eyes on your work, the better novel you can create. Each individual person will have their own unique take on a story. And this is the greatest advantage of being a writer. Writing a story to touch people in different ways, bringing out individual (and hopefully positive) emotions concerning your story.

Having different people give their own opinions, and taking those opinions to craft a tight story, guarantees success in getting published. I believe this, even if it might take a bit of time to find that "dream" agent and that excited publisher.

I had written a total of three books, received numerous rejections for one, before I started to learn more about the publishing industry and the need to have a crit partner. I found a crit partner for my first novel, Stephen Parrish. He gave me awesome advice for my mystery novel. He is a tough crit partner, but when he finds something that he likes about the novel, he won't hesitate to tell you. I received great advice for the novel. I found him when he sent me an email, saying how he enjoyed reading my comments over at Nathan Bransford  site.  I asked if he could read my story, and he gave me great comments.

Another crit partner is our blog chain buddy Eric Stahlsworth. I met Eric on my blog, through a comment he left. I'm not positive how he found me but I'm thankful he did. Eric was the person to invite me into the blog chain. And he loves Poe and Stephen King. What better person to have crit my works?

Eric gave me a wonderful response, balancing what he liked about the story with what needed improvement.   I was so grateful he pointed out my weaknesses (I'm shaky at writing those stellar beginnings that are suppose to draw a reader into the story).

Surprisingly, I have yet to reciprocate. And I believe that is the most important part about being a crit partner. To offer honest and constructive criticism to another person's novel. I'm willing and able. I'm just waiting for that novel to drop into my lap.

So GET WITH IT, ERIC! Finish that first book.

no pressure

Visit Katrina's post before mine and Eric's posts tomorrow.