Sunday, 6 April 2014

Log 2014 6th Apr: Bad Dog Critique

Yesterday act one of my first novel was critiqued by a writer's group.

It has left me feeling agitated and slightly shocked, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but it is a thing.  On the whole the comments were fair, if harsh, but necessary tough love; coming from the writers attending the meeting to the writer submitting her work for critique.  It is hard to sit through criticism and listen to one's work being taken apart.  However, quite rightly clunky dialogue and too much telling needs to be brought to my attention so I can eliminate all the instances where they occur in the novel.

What caused me to become agitated was some of the other things said regarding show not tell, where I am left trying to square the circle to address the comments made, without inserting info dumps to tell the reader the answer.  I also made the mistake of not making it clearer to the reviewers that this was the first act of a novel, and not a short story, therefore causing confusion (which is a bad thing to do to someone who is reading one's story where one wants constructive feedback).

So thank you one and all, and remember I'll be back.


  1. If any of them are making a good living writing then it might be worth taking it onboard. If what they said is what you felt before, then is something worth listening. Ask a hundred people their opinion something, you will get a hundred opinions.

    1. And that as they say is the problem. Taking what is useful and leaving behind the dross.

      The main problem was the inherent dislike of military SF, and a disinterest in technology being described, I get the latter; show not tell. However, the former colours the readers receptions of what they are reading and leads to less useful commentary being given.

    2. Maybe worth talking to your potential audience then? Rather than talking to people who are trying to sell a detective novel