My Monday night writer’s group reviewed a chapter segment from my novel. I think this review went very well. Definitely a great critique. In some instances, they very clearly addressed issues I am having with the story. In a few cases, the critique was a little off base.
The off-base comments were from people who either had not read earlier chapters or had forgotten the information in previous chapters. I did include a summary paragraph at the beginning to remind people where we left off, but it clearly was not enough.
It is hard to critique portions of a novel when you are not privy to the entire plot. We have a couple other novel writers in the group and it is easy to have questions about where the author is going, especially if you haven’t read the previous chapters.
Receiving critique on a chapter segment is difficult as well. I tried to pare down the portion I shared with them to focus solely on the one character and her particular plot line. I shaved off some of the filler scenes that happen before and after some of the action and dialogue scenes. As a result, I heard feedback like, “I think you can expand this more.”
This was the best review I’ve received from this group. They liked the dialogue. They liked the way the story was moving. Still some problems with the narrative voice. Fewer p.o.v. problems. So, I think it is going well.
This is just my first re-write. Once I have it completely re-assembled into one continuous narrative and have written some of the new connective scenes that I decided I needed, not to mention re-writing the ending. I will go through it again.
Sometimes I look at it and all I see is the unfinished work and it feels overwhelming. Other times I think, “OK, I can do this. Let me work on this one scene.” When I’m done with that scene, I feel like I can sometimes see the end.