I'd like to say that they all loved everything about my work, but that's not realistic. I graduated with a degree in history and education and I learned a valuable lesson -> There is no perfect review. As part of my student teaching I had to be evaluated teaching several lesson. My supervisor always found something that I needed to improve upon. She said there is something wrong with the evaluation, if there isn't something that needs improvement. She wasn't the only one who said that, the principal at the school told me the same thing. She stated that no matter how well the lesson is taught or how long a teacher has been teaching, there is always something that needs improvement upon. So, I went into my critique group with this in mind.
I'm new, I'm learning, and there is plenty I need to sharpen. If there's any place to learn more, it was at a critique.
What I heard that I already knew:
Repetition - Uh, yeah, I'm a wordy person and tend to repeat things often. And, yes I mean often. My hubby and daughter are always saying, "You already told us this story." That's me!
Tightening up - I definitely knew that I needed to tighten it up a good amount. When I first started Midnight Raynne I had absolutely no idea where the thing was going. Now I do, but I still need to tighten the story line up. This is also a product of my wordy behavior.
Contradictions - Okay, so I wrote the rough draft, added some clarity in, but forgot to take out information, thus I made huge contradictions.
What I heard that I hadn't thought about:Hook - One member of the group said she had a hard time finding exactly what the hook was. I have to admit, I never really thought about the hook when I originally sat down and started typing like a fool. I also didn't really think about it when I did my first round edits. I mean HELLO what was I thinking? Okay, back to the drawing board there. This one was a big one for me. I really need to fix it, and fast.
Predictible - There was one member who said the ending to the first chapter was too predictable. Okay, back to the drawing board. I don't want predictable, but that's a tough one. Hmmmm????? I don't want to be predictable.
Narrator's age - I should have brought up her age a little sooner in the story, but didn't. I could be wrong, but I don't think that will be too terribly difficult to slide it in.
Narrator's name - So, I wrote the story from first person narration. I didn't add in anyone saying her name until several pages into the story. And I mean several. So, that said, I definitely need to fix that issue. I don't want my readers asking themselves, "Who is this girl?" Uh, yeah, not a good idea.
Accident - I mention an accident and that my MC was injured, but I don't make it clear how badly or what the accident was. I'm not sure how I want to handle this one yet, but I'm actively trying to hash scenarios for bringing it up sooner in the story.
Now that I am armed with a list of many issues to correct I think I am ready to work on a new round of edits on my first chapter. Since I won't be able to make the next meeting I will have a little extra time. I'm going to take that time to rework it until it's perfect. I hope.
Your Turn -> What have you learned from critiques?