Yay, three hour critique meeting! B&N staff had to drag us out kicking and screaming ;p It’s been awesome to see Tammy’s writing utterly transform from “nice” to “WOW!”
I think critiques are not necessarily about changing the heart of a story….but about how to get the heart across to the reader in a more clear, exciting way.
I’m more excited about the first few chapters of Deep Within now. I was definitely waiting for the axe of ‘It just doesn’t hook me’ to drop as it has done so many times with The Resistance. But I’ve learned so much working on The Resistance, that I’ve avoided a lot of mistakes.
Jess mentioned something interesting – ‘Publishers scan for white space’ – they look for dialog. There’s so much about writing style, character, setting, etc that you can get across through good dialog and honestly, I do the same thing. When I check a book to see if I want to read it, I’m not looking at the narrative. I look at the interplay between characters.
So I want to get into the dialog a lot faster in DW. I also noticed when editing Shannon’s that she starts out setting the scene and background then goes into the dialog. It was only a paragraph but that paragraph felt LONG compared to the dialog that was so instant and so GOOD that it would have made a great first sentence, the scene-setting just got in the way. It’s also fascinating how much backstory can be in a snippet of dialog… as The Fire and Fiction has for an example: “I hope you’ll enjoy some tea?” vs “Do you want cream for your tea? Nevermind. Of course you do. Your kind always does.”
We’ll see though, I have to balance that with description since people usually complain that’s where I’m lacking.
I need to make Mayuri more likable still–aiming for hilariously snarky– But it was fun for me that Mayuri wasn’t the first positive thing mentioned. The first thing the first critiquer mentioned mentioned was about Bones and EVERYONE lit up: ‘please tell me he’s okay!’ ‘he can’t die!’ ‘I LOVED him!’ I think it says something good that there was something in the first chapter that had so many people excited. There was that instant connection with everyone present. Plus there were some other very distinct emotional reactions people were having–positive and negative and I’d take that over lukewarm any day! Lukewarm has definitely been my bane with The Resistance.
So I need to sit down and read the detail critiques, maybe write CH2, then use what I want to of the detail critiques, theeeen send it to Karen & Co. my AbsoluteWrite.com buddies.
The critique meeting was based around the book “Hooked” which I’ve heard good and bad reviews of. Once it gets back to the library I want to check it out ^_^