Welcome, readers, welcome.
Critiques come in all shapes and sizes.
They come in the form of purely line editing. They come the form of purely plot/character re-tooling. They can even come in the form of just a read through for pacing.
Because my critique partners are busy being fabulous, I asked for something simpler until we could get together and talk through Opus over cookie dough and breakfast tea (rest assured, we’ll all need copious amounts of both).
I sent them a copy of Opus half way through (at or around 40,000 words) along with a set of questions. The set included things like this:
Does the storyline make sense so far?
What characters do you like?
What characters don’t you like?
Any blaring subtext?
Any plot holes so big that you fell into them?
Besides answering the ten or so questions, I just asked them to read it through. No line edits, no comments in the margins. I just asked them to answer the questions, which basically covers the big over-arching things that I’ll need to fix in Draft One. Then at the end, I sent them another round of questions. This set included things like this:
How’s the pacing? From middle to end?
Can you see character development? If you can, in which characters?
Do you see info dumps and do they disrupt the flow of the plot?
And of course: What did you think of the end?
So far, I’ve only gotten one full one back.
Now, I’m not nagging (mostly because I don’t know how many of my critique partners are reading this). I’m really not. …but….YOU DON’T WANT TO WAKE THE DRAGON!!!!! YOU WON’T LIKE THE DRAGON WHEN IT’S AWAKE!
(yes, I know that was an uber-nerdy Game of Thrones reference. * glares over shoulder at government agents * “hey! you shut up!”)
Well, I am supposed to be not reading/writing/thinking about/watching anything in the Opus genre. So I’ve dived headfirst into hardcore high fantasy. Reading both Game of Thrones and The Well of Ascension (mostly at the same time).
I’m not sure it’s helping….
Anyway, what I’ve done with the full critique that I’ve gotten (and what I will do with the rest when I get them) is complied it into a list of problems and helpfully titled it: “List of Things Wrong In Draft One”.
If I get any repeats of certain problems in the other critiques, I will bold those problems on the document. If all three critiquers (the agents over my shoulder have just informed me that’s not a word. * shouts back * “well, too bad! I just added it to the dictionary!”) point out the same problem, I’ll italicize it. And then put it in all caps.
You know, just to be safe.
Hopefully that’s the last update for today, dear readers.
Now back to listening to Nightvale and reading The Well of Ascension…