Kiliane’s Rage is my work-in-progress written during NaNoWriMo. I rarely visited it during the holidays. In mid-January, I brought the draft out and began working with it again.
I joined a critique group about the time I took Kiliane’s Rage out of hiding. I quickly learned a critique group can affect your morale or self-esteem if you are sensitive to criticism. It is frustrating to read the critical comments that point out shortcomings to story delivery on a work you think you have aced. I read and reread the comments on my first scene with disappointment. Then I bucked up, accepted the input but did not rush to make changes.
Instead, I completed the second scene with the first reviewer’s comments in mind. The second set of critiques pointed out different things as concerns. Some contradicted the first set of critiques. The problem I decided was the second set was by different readers than the first. At this point, I decided to concentrate on a full read-through and revision without involving a critique group.
Let me confess to a fault. Yes, I have one that is likely shared by many writers. It is the “not good enough” fault. I spent several sessions reworking the first scene before I submitted it for critique. The first scene introduced the protagonist, the antagonist, and several secondary characters at a banquet. I worked with the draft from NaNo WIP. As I mentioned earlier, this scene went to the critique group. I wrestled with myself not to immediately incorporate their comments. I had the same issue with the second critique. Move on or the poor babies in the ninth scene would never enjoy my attention.
I stopped revising content to complete a read with a focus on plot. *Sometimes I do things out of sequence and have to do over. This should have been first!* I found plot holes that would take a dump truck full of asphalt to fill. No need to worry about adverbs, adjectives, or passive voice when there are gaps in the storyline. Or how does backstory fit? Does it get worked in or, most likely, excised.
That brings things up-to-date. Kiliane’s Rage draft is coming along and this version has a home on a Kindle. I recently learned how to get docx and epub books onto my kindle. For the longest time, years, I thought you could only read mobi files on a kindle. *Techie, that’s me!* This weekend I uploaded Kiliane’s Rage docx file and I am reading my story on my kindle. How different the same words read when the WIP comes up on an ereader vice in Word or Scrivener.
One day in the, hopefully, not distant future, Kiliane’s Rage will find a home on many ereaders.
Have you ever uploaded your WIP to an ereader? Did you find your WIP read differently?
I do a full second revision before I let anyone see any of the story. I usually let DH read it at this point and get his feedback.
Then I do another revision.
Then I turn to a trusty beta reader. She reads the whole thing and helps me see plot holes and character stuff I might have missed.
Then, I make her changes, assuming I agreed with them. I then do another revision. At this point, I think I might be ready to start querying.
Not there yet. Have the work right now with the beta reader.
Always nervous about critique groups now. I was in one years ago, and I might as well have given my work to a kindergarten classroom for the quality I was getting from it.
As I said in the post, I do things backwards at time. I am concentrating on my novel revision and will search for readers later. Also have the problem of needing to fight trying to make it ‘perfect’. I need to think good is good enough.
Glad your WIP is coming along well! Beta reader!! Yah!!
I think you need to take the critiques with a grain of salt. Be ready to see flaws that they point out, ones that you could have missed, but you get to decide which ones you agree with. The difficult part is differentiating a defensive response from something that you truly don’t agree with. This takes time with any art form.
I agree that I have to take the critique less serious. They are that person’s view and only seeing a small part of the novel. If it is language usage, that is one thing. Plot is something they may not be tuned into.
Thanks for the advice. I appreciate it.