Friday, April 11, 2014

A Second Eye

Have I told you how much I love critiques?  I love all kinds, the ones that tear you to shreds, and the ones that make you feel like you’re doing everything right.  The first is obviously the most helpful when you’re trying to revise, but the second actually makes me feel like it’s worth revising.

I just got a critique of my first chapter of Cassie’s story, tentatively titled The King’s Councilor.  There were several comments in it that set my mind spinning.  In a good way.  I was filled with questions like:

How can I fix this?

What needs to be changed?

And most importantly:

What If?

Critiques give me a second eye.  Someone new, who doesn’t know the material or the characters, has the chance to experience it for the first time.  They have the chance to let me know what works.  What doesn’t work.  And what just leaves them confused. 

One of the critiques mentioned a section that just didn’t work.  I had too many unnamed characters described in exactly the same way.  I had the same problem at the end of the book, but I’d figured out a way around it.  As I reread the scene, I realized that I’d already come up with the solution.  I just hadn’t realized it before.

Armed with some good critiques, I can revise.  I can fix, and then I can send it back out for more critiques.  Beta partners are invaluable for a writer, and I appreciate everyone who’s helped me on this journey, and I love to help others out as well.  There’s always something new to learn when critiquing and receiving critiques.

So in commemoration of my 100th post on my blog (on Monday), I’m offering to critique the first chapter of the first three people to comment!