I received my feedback from the Red Cross auction. Carolyn Crane, Diana Rowland, Jackie Kessler, Jeanne Stein, Kevin Hearne, Michele Bardsley and Sonya Bateman, all great urban fantasy authors, spent at least an hour reading and critiquing the first chapter of my book. That’s seven hours of professional writers reviewing my work. Probably more time time than I’d received from my writing teachers during my entire school career…
I got a lot of great feedback, most of it quite positive. A lot of them rather liked it, which makes me feel all warm and gooey inside. Like maybe I might have a chance at this writing thing.
Generally, the feedback boiled down to….
My characters were real and likable.
I’ve got a good handle on dialog.
I need to be more careful about tense, as I sometimes dropped present tense in amongst a mostly past tense writing style.
Need to proofread better for typos, punctuation and grammatical errors.
For the most part, I pulled off what I thought was a huge risk, starting with a page or two of dream sequence. Only one person stated that they hated that.
I need to expose the emotional state of my main character a bit more directly.
I have a ‘voice’
I’ve some good imagery
Some of the actual comments totally floored me.
“Your use of language and structure is very professional. You obviously study craft.” “I think you have an awesome command of craft and getting people and speech and action right”
After years of getting ignored or even disrespected by english teachers and the like as I was a science nerd, I totally dropped any idea of doing the writing thing.
“I think you have a lot of really cool inventiveness in here that I haven’t seen before.” I woulda thought I would write more like the authors I read.
Funny how the same writing affects different people, although definitely not surprising. Some of the folk really connected with my work. Others not as much. In many cases, specific sentences pleased some and displeased others. I’d rather connect with some than none. And if I were to connect with all, then it’d be watered down commercial crap.
Now I just gotta revise the rest of it.