It’s the first Wednesday of the month, and we all know what that means… It’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group Day!
With everything that’s going on with my personal life, you’d think I wouldn’t have time to be an insecure writer. Alas, that’s not the case. I mentioned a few weeks ago that I had finally finished my rewrites of Isto. *cheer!* I announced this wonderful feat to my critique group, and Troy told me he had a contact for me. He’d met an epic fantasy writer while at the LTUE Writer’s Conference, and the writer was looking for a beta read. Troy’s not much for epic fantasy (he’s a suspense/mystery/horror guy), so he made a digital introduction and the other epic author and I agreed to a swap.
LTUE Guy certainly doesn’t pull his punches. “Please don’t be offended. I was yawning all through your chapter 4. It needs help.” Considering that the first ever writing feedback I got (10 years ago) was from my sister-in-law who told me she hated my main characters and wanted to rip out her eyeballs after reading my description… I figured this tidbit about tension was fair.
I wasn’t offended. In fact, I wasn’t even distraught. Chapter 4 is one of the handful of chapters that hasn’t been rewritten from scratch since I started this book. It was over 6 years old, and only received minor tweaks to the wording here and there because the three major timeline shifts that I’ve done don’t reach back far enough to affect this chapter.
So I rewrote it on Saturday, cut 800 words, and applied the conflict cycle to generate more tension. He said it’s better.
I reflect on this with pride in my personal growth. Tension has always been one of those fail points for me (along with inappropriately unconcerned characters). But here, I can compare my work from 6 years ago to my current writing and there’s a notable improvement.
Why I am still an insecure writer? Because I don’t know what other issues are lurking in my book. I thought Isto was pretty much ready. Clearly, I was wrong.
IWSG Question of the Month – Other than the obvious holiday traditions, have you ever included any personal or family traditions/customs in your stories?
Nope. Not really.
Do you have a thick skin when it comes to blunt feedback? Have you noticed personal growth in writing or something else? Do you find fresh eyes help?