Last Wednesday night I read pages 10 through 20 of my novel at my writer’s group. (Pages 1-10 already posted as Beyond the Fortune Teller’s tent.) Below is a smidgeon of the group’s response. (they actually said much more, but I’ve left it for fear of being boring and maudlin. Please remember, even if it’s not reflected in this post, that I’ve a tremendous amount of respect and regard for my fellow fictionaires.)
Neal thought the fortune teller was a stock character, which is a fair and true comment. I thought about changing her…still thinking.
Christine was confused by the dental office scene and she pointed out I’d used the word gnarled three times. (Actually, I’d used it 4 times. Good call, Christine.)
Michael thought that the crystal ball should shatter (I agreed. Please note my flying crystal.)
Terry didn’t like Emory being invisible. (I tried to clarify that Emory isn’t actually invisible, but rather good at lurking and skulking.) Later, he also commented that if he’d known my snack was so good he would have been kinder in hopes that he could have more. I told him I didn’t know he could be bought and he assured he could. I find it distressing to know that (for Terry at least) the quality and honesty of a critique can be influenced by the tastiness of my treats. Hmm…. In the future should I bring gourmet goodies for kindness or K-mart cookies for horrid honesty?
James didn’t know anything about being blond and smart so he wasn’t sure he’d be able to relate to Petra.
Jean thought that Robyn should say, “I’ll go and wait with your sister.” (Which I added. Thanks, Jean.)
Jean F. told me not to be discouraged, as this was my first draft and it was sure to improve. (It was actually my third draft and I’d thought it polished. This was perhaps the most discouraging comment, although I’m sure it was said in love.)
Aileen asked me what happened to my last novel. Sigh.
I’d love to hear any other opinions. Please try to keep them helpful and only mildly hurtful. Thanks, Kristine