Feedback is fabulous.
Author coaches are awesome.
Rewriting is repetitious and
Plotting is muddy.
Main character – switch. World – build or destroy. Character motivation – change.
Ah, being a newb writer. I’m thankful for good feedback. This time around it means plodding through some new plotting. My secondary character is more interesting and less controversial. So, she becomes the main. Big points on the “more interesting”. I’ve been holding her back since the second draft because I could feel her stealing the story. *sigh* It’s all good. I should have just recognized it. Fortunately she stole most of the story while I thought my old main was carrying it. That means some scenes don’t need to be rewritten. +1. Most of the boring scenes only include my old main character, so they can be ash-canned.
Overall I’ve had a good weekend of plotting. It was muddy inside and out. Stupid rain. Over 9 inches this March for us in the Pacific Northwest. Sheesh. But, I slogged through the mud of my old story, slid around in the mud of it, and have gotten to the other side with some dry earth under my feet now. Time to rebuild.
So yes, I have an author coach. And yes, he is helping me out. The book will be that much better now. I also joined a new group of writers. We meet via Hangouts. I think it will be good. I’m in two writer groups now.
Feedback is fabulous.
I know I will.
I recently sent off the first three chapters of my book to my editor Barbara Varanka. I had no illusion that the chapters were close to final. Rather, I was hoping they at least conveyed good information about the characters, a sense of the story, and the mood. I was also interested in learning about my bad habits and how to correct them.
Barbara sent back a marked up and commented copy of the first three chapters, and we reviewed it together over Google+ hangout today. Something I’ve learned from my early days in creative writing class, oh, about a hundred years ago, is that feedback is feedback. It is like ideas, ideas are not good or bad, they are ideas. It’s what you do with them that make them helpful or useless. Today I really appreciated the honest feedback I received. I feel like I can move forward with completing a second draft. The best feedback was to use “cold prose” because of the “hot topic”. The story is dystopian and opens with a tense scene. That was huge feedback. Another one of my friends had commented that I used too much poetic forms in the early chapters. Basically the same feedback. I know what to do now because of this feedback intersection.
I can move forward with more confidence because of my editor’s markup, and comments, and because of my friend’s feedback. So vital. It wasn’t necessary to send my whole first draft, because most of my problems repeat. Feedback is like having a guide to a good fishing hole. I know how to fish, but I don’t know the best bait for the best holes.
I’m also having some “aha” moments reading “Invisible Ink”. Great book on the art of crafting a story. I’m going to finish my current two books, then read a Cory Doctorow book before I end this break from writing.
Also, I recommend Barbara’s editing services. I will likely go back to her for more editing once I get further in my drafting.