I’m not really sure this is a good thing. I received a facebook message that said that one of my critique partners awoke in the morning after having dreamt about a volcano in the mountains behind her house. Suddenly a lava river came pouring toward her house and a deep and earth shattering earthquake. A thick deep blue fog permeated everywhere.
I personally thought it was hilarious. But it also might mean that my book is too long and that she is definitely spending too much time reading. 🙂
I’ve really have come to love and appreciate the importance of a critique group. Everyone loves something different in books and are equally annoyed at different things. Their perspective gives me the choice whether to keep something or not. I may not change something just because someone is annoyed, but I will try to see if from their view.
I did recently receive a critique from two individuals who agreed to look at a synopsis and the first 4,000 words of my manuscript. They, of course, were part of the Pikes Peak Writing Competition. I submitted my materials last year and really got hammered. I loved every minute of it. Since I submitted, I’ve kicked over 80,000 words from my manuscript. I also have changed the tenses from present to past. I did two additional edits and am finishing the third as I write. [Well sort of] Much of what they said, even the harsh parts, I agreed with.
I really thought it would be hard to hear from someone who didn’t like my writing. And I know it will, when it’s my final product that I’ve spent hundreds and hundreds of hours on. But, when I’m still in the process, I completely understand. There is always something I could do better.
Some would argue that I didn’t take the contest seriously. But, I would say, that I did enter the contest cause I needed someone’s opinion who knew what they were doing. I got exactly that. They were harsh yet helpful. They pointed me in directions that I now need to improve. I admit that I’m not the best writer, but I do try to work hard. I may not succeed the first time, but I will improve.
The one part that both of my critiquers [if that’s a word] did like was my story or at least the idea of my story. I hope that I’ve improved on that as well. Cutting out 80,000 words has been stressful but I did need to tighten the ship and remove some of the excess baggage. As I prepare for the writing conference next week, I’m excited to learn more and even meet a few agents and editors. I will come back with more information and a preparation to start the agent searching process. What great timing. Maybe I will come back with something more…..