Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Critiquer and Critiquee

Labor Day marked the first "real" meeting for the new writing group I recently joined. For this session we critiqued the preface and first chapter of a mystery and my own short story (the unnamed one which I plan to submitted to the Warrior Wisewomen 2 anthology).

We started with the mystery, and then moved on to my piece. I got some great feedback! And I realized a few things:

- As much as a loved the idea of directly referencing a character from "the dark book" it wasn't working in the context of this piece. Sorry Arvis. No soup for you buddy. (to clarify: this short story is a tale about historical events that preface "the dark book")

- I spent a few pages describing an alien species and a medical procedure, both of which are really irrelevant for this piece (at least in that amount of detail I included).

- With the above scene axed, I had a few ideas spawned from a number of great suggestions to fill the space and address a) a character development issue and b) a reference to the main characters past which I failed to explore in enough depth.

- I learned that if you want to say someone committed suicide, you have to be very direct and clear about it. Or, at the very least, much more direct and clear than I was in draft one. When three out of three readers don't get it, the author (moi) gets one of these:

The plan is for me to create a new draft, and give it to the group again to look over once my turn comes up in the rotation again. No worries; the deadline for Warrior Wisewomen 2 is not until December.

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