THE "ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENTS"
And can I just say? There were a lot of them. ESPECIALLY on book two and three.
Just like on my wins, my RFI's showed up when I averaged my scores using my handy dandy excel spreadsheet. *grin*
Areas that I marked to work on the MOST scored under a 3.5 on average between all 3 books.
• Sensory Details
• Inspirational Elements*
• Characterization (believable/understandable)
Sensory Details and setting are probably my two worst areas. I like to get to the point, and writing a sentence about smell or taste or sounds just doesn’t occur to my very fast-paced brain. These are details that I have to go back and edit in later, because they just aren’t there as I write. It, again, is a fault I’m aware of.
Characterization is kinda funny. When I first started writing, someone told me that I did very well at this. But…. Then I found out about the no backstory thing. When I deleted all of that, my characterization went down the tubes. I basically deleted all mention of their motivation and what made them tick. My characters I think are pretty deep and unique individuals, but they don’t come across so at the moment, at least with my second two books. My job is to go back and weave in the backstory in snippets, to show character in different, more subtle ways, that draws my reader in.
Conflict. My stories, as a whole, have quite a bit of conflict. Obviously I can add more, but I think my problem is being able to show the goal of my character and what the conflict is that prevents them for achieving it… and showing that early. My first book is a prime example. It has a lot of conflict throughout, but the first chapter is slower because the conflict is really thrown in throughout the book. I actually really like that aspect, because I don’t think my middles sags because of it. But is it making my first chapter sag then? Hmmmm.
Some helpful criticism I received:
• The setting could be a bit stronger.
• Jack’s character is super, but he seems a bit weaker to me than Jenny’s character
• Is the conflict strong enough? I can’t tell yet.
• Paige’s character doesn’t seem fully developed.
• Conflict seems stilted and unlikely
• I just can’t think of a general CBA publisher where this story would fit. (kp: this is referring to my slightly edgier book. In my research of publishers, I think this isn’t as big of a problem as it would have been a few years ago)
• I DON’T SEE HOW THEIR MOTIVATIONS ARISING FROM THEIR INNER NEEDS/GOALS OR EXTERNAL NEEDS/GOALS ARE ENOUGH TO CREATE CONFLICT. AND THAT’S PROBABLY BECAUSE I DON’T SEE ANY EXTERNAL GOALS. THEY’RE MERELY REACTING TO THEIR CIRCUMSTANCES (HER) OR SOMEONE ELSE’S (HIM).
• The story feels a little choppy in a few areas.
• Try adding more emotion intermixed with the dialogue,
• Also, make Paige more sympathetic so that we understand why she says the things she says. Be sure the things she says aren’t just for shock value. Let us see the hurt through her thoughts.
• THE POTENTIAL IS THERE FOR GREAT CONFLICT, BUT THE CHARACTERS’ MOTIVATION IS A BIT UNBELIEVABLE
• Inspirational elements feel tacked on and don’t even seem to matter to the characters
• Opening with a line of dialogue isn’t enough to hook the reader
• She’s not very likable
This is a wholllleeee different topic and I’d like to discuss next week in a separate blog post. I’m really looking forward to getting lots of opinions on this one, because I think it’s important. STAY TUNED!