I wasn’t kidding you guys when I said I was bad at keeping up with a blog! But, this time at least, there’s been good reason.
Reason 1: I had to fly out to Denver, CO to be maid of honor (I guess that’s matron, since I’m married? Whatevs.) for my best friend’s wedding! (P.S. It was awesome!)
Reason 2: I finally got down to business on some much needed rewrites for this story.
I’ve been critiqued twice now in my workshop, and the feedback has been immensely helpful and encouraging. Basically what I’m hearing is the action is flowing well and people are INTRIGUED, which is awesome. But I’m a little too back story-oriented and trying to explain things about my character’s history in one fell swoop as opposed to spreading it out a bit, and that leads to some pretty dry parts.
This is all very good to know. I knew from reading and re-reading (and re-re-reading) that something was keeping the story from moving at a good clip, but I couldn’t seem to figure it out on my own. Seriously, I can’t recommend a good writing workshop enough!
With that info under my hat, my main character is now getting a complete personality overhaul. During my first critique, I noticed that many people referred to her as “passive,” in that she’s telling the story, but she’s not really in control of it. That’s not how I saw her AT ALL. I think she’s very much in control of the story, and it’s HER story, after all. But because she was a bit mousy and indecisive, yeah I see what they mean now.
Solution 1: Give MC some balls! (Not in the physical sense, mind you. She’s still very much female.)
Something else that was noted on that first (and if I’m honest, second) critique was there was that the reader doesn’t know the stakes for the MC soon enough. Or really at all by Chapter 3, which isn’t good. Truthfully, I think I’d been thinking too much about that first chapter. How to make it stand out. How to make it awesome. How to make people want to keep reading. In pondering too much over the Hows, I think I forgot to ask some Whys. Like “Why is my character in this situation?” and “Why should I care?”
Solution 2: Rewrite opening with more thought to the Whys instead of the Hows.
Still not sure if I’ve got this right yet, but the writing seemed to flow better and I feel like I KNOW my MC much better than I did in draft 1. Hopefully the stakes are apparent, but if not, I’m sure I’ll hear about it next week. That’s right, I’m up for my 3rd critique on Tuesday! SEND HAPPY THOUGHTS!