I mentioned in my last post that I was going to talk the search for a good critique partner. This post is going to hit and run on that topic. We’re here because I did infact audition some people as critique partners. And I found a few who were very helpful. Everyone that offered to help had some good stuff to say. Anyone I didn’t pursue was only due to chemistry with a particular person and not because I didn’t find their crits helpful. So with that little disclaimer out of the way….(and a lead up to another post about this entire process)…
I am standing with 8k words in my hands, wondering if it’s good enough. This is no doubt, not an uncommon process or issue for writers. So let me tell you about how I got here.
I sent out my first chapter to about 5 people. I figured that since I’m happily on the 5th Chapter and I still wish to get earlier chapters podcast it was about time in the process to do a final edit and get it out to the voice actors. Hence the need for a few beta readers.
Each person I sent it to had some issues with my first chapter. One person in particular helped me see that I was showing the opposite of what I’d intended with my main character. This left a hearty but not impossible re-write. InkGypsy, who’s become a big supporter and very helpful, calmed some of the stress. No, I didn’t need to trash it and start all over. Yes, it could be fixed with a bit of change here and there. It was all going to be ok.
So for the last week or two I’ve been mulling over how to fix Chapter 1. Then upon talking with someone else, I realize….we might not be getting into the action soon enough. There might not be enough uf in my first chapter. Suddenly everything I have written looks extraneous and do I need to cut out large chunks of what I’ve written or do I keep it and some small change can keep it salvagable? *sounds of screams and much head holding*
My thought is…if I cut out a large amount of what I’ve written to make things happen faster….isn’t that just making a book into a short story? I want to avoid doing that. It’s a novel I’m writing not a 5k word short.
Sadly, there is no resolution to my questions yet. This post is about my process and I haven’t found the answer yet. But I felt it was good to get this out here as I’m sure there are a few others of you right now holding your heads and sighing. We aren’t lost. We’ll discover the way out.
I do however, want to leave you with a few good links I’ve found:
A Novel in Three Acts Pt 1 – Stacia Kane
A Novel in Three Acts Pt 2 – Stacia Kane
A Novel in Three Acts Pt 3 – Stacia Kane
The Fear of Writing
Holly Lisle’s Think Sideways Course