My journey through the world of writing and everything that lies in between…

Critiques and Other Things

The first chapter of Lady of the Snow was reviewed last night by my local critique group.

And….they LOVED it. I mean, they hardly had any comments on it. That’s seriously a first for me. Even though there were only four of us last night, the opinion was pretty unanimous–that my first chapter achieved exactly what a first chapter should: it made them want to read more.

There were some issues with it, mainly grammatical (what a suprise πŸ˜› Grammar is the bane of my existence) and a few places where I could make things a little clearer. But nothing major. (BTW, I changed my chapter a little from the excerpts I posted–mainly, I switched it over to third person, which I think flows better and is more natural for me).

However, from their comments, I have a little changing I’m going to need to do for the book. I’m realizing that the current plan I had probably won’t work so well. I initially planned on going back in time after my first chapter to show how she developed into the Yuki-onna. But I realized that may be a little too much of an abrupt shift–from going to her being this mythical monster to being a normal human 300 years prior.

So, that first part will mainly be backstory fodder; much of it may come out in flashbacks. And I’m going to have to learn how to do a good flashback. Not sure it will work making it go back and forth between two distinct time periods; you really have to master the craft so as not to confuse the reader (or irritate them!).Β Jamie Ford’s Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and SweetΒ is a great example of switching between two time periods without that confusion.Β He was able to switch back seamlessly–something I don’t think I’m quite comfortable doing just yet–at least at the level I’m at in my writing.

So it’s back to the drawing board for the book summaries, as well as some of the character bios. It’s nothing too major–in fact I may try writing it the way I originally thought and then use some of that in flashback sequences.

For now, I’m just happy that I actually wrote a compelling first chapter–something that I always struggle to do πŸ™‚

Comments on: "Critiques and Other Things" (8)

  1. Sounds like it was well received and from what I read it was really good.

    In my book I had a whole chapter dedicated to how the city came to be but after a lot of versions decided to cut it and just have back story revealed through the characters.

    Don’t know if that will help or not.

  2. How great to get such a good response at the first “unveiling”! I remembered the excerpt you had posted here and found the opening to be very compelling.

    Good luck and happy writing!

  3. bigwords88 said:

    Brilliant to hear you are having such a good reception for the first chapter.

    My kinda-a-western WIP has three timeframes that are interlinked all the way through the story. Everyone can feel free to mock, but “it was a good idea at the time…”

    The main problem in writing different timeframes is remembering what has already happened and what hasn’t happened yet, while dropping in ominous references to the other parts of the story. Foreshadowing is fun.

    Have you put together a timeline with the events in chronological order? It helps a little, though the bare bones recounting of events can be intimidating if the events cover a long period of time.

  4. That’s so wonderful! πŸ™‚ Congratulations to you for growing in the craft and making your story awesome!

  5. Yay! I’m glad to hear that the critique went well. πŸ™‚

    Hmm…flashbacks. Can’t say I’ve written many of those. Good luck! They sound diffi…er…fun! πŸ˜‰

  6. Congrats. Sounds like you only have a few more edits to go before you get the chapter where you want it to be.

    Good luck on working out the time line so it flows.

    Have a great day.

  7. Congrats!! What a lovely feeling… πŸ™‚

  8. Good luck with the going back and forth in time. Don’t be afraid to try. Go for it. Remember, you don’t need to get it right the first time. Revisions are a blessed thing in that regard.

    And congrats on hooking your reading group with your first chapter. πŸ™‚

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