Karalee’s Post #37 — Sometimes a bargain isn’t a bargain. Don’t we all have those clothes in the closet that we’ve bought but never worn and tossed out without even removing the price tags? But hey, they were two for the price of one….
The comments I received from my critique today weren’t unexpected. As I had written in a previous post running up to this critique week, I had concerns about my protagonist and antagonist vying for equal attention.
Today I had unanimous feedback: I had written two books, not one!
I had been so clever in hiding all my villain’s villainous activities that my detective had nothing to detect. That was my struggle in writing this novel as well, and I certainly wasn’t able to hide that from my wonderful 5Writers.
So here I am with two books, and not to my surprise, the antagonist won as the more compelling story, or should I say, had a story to tell. My weaknesses show like red flags in a hurricane, but my strengths do too. I had a lot of fun writing the villainous parts while I struggled with my detective detecting parts and it showed.
In general my characters need to be fleshed out more and have higher personal stakes. Sounds simple if typed quickly, but creating characters is not an easy job.
A adult character comes on stage fully mature with all his life’s experiences making him what he (or she) is. The author (me) must have concocted the character’s complete family/friend/school/professional/cultural/global background, and then only let out bits like releasing steam from a pressure cooker. The character’s personal information must not be too much at once and take away from the action, and it must also be relevant in the context of the scene and be personal and believable to the character.
Oh did I mention that the plot must pushed along too?
It’s not an easy task, but when it happens it is pure magic.
And that’s the magic I want in my writing.
This is my first draft of a book that has a strong and unique premise. Now I need to look at it like one does at the stalls in a flea market and pick and choose what to purchase and what to walk away from in order to create a manuscript that will keep readers up all night.
Fortunately there are fixes for every problem and the brainstorming among our group was invaluable to me. I’m off with fresh ideas and my delete button will be busy in the coming weeks. My fingers will also be flying on the keyboard creating a new maze to be unraveled.
And that’s why I feel blessed to be part of this group that is helping me (and each other) on our journeys to be the best writers we can be.