My WIP’s Third Revision
I took Part One of my WIP down from further Scribophile critiques.
I had hoped more people would read it and like what I had done, but…
Three of us got on-line with the writer of our first beta read for nearly an hour. This was after I had already read his story and sent him my comments. The story was well crafted. Several things stood out for me.
First, David was hoping we would tell him his story is ready to send to an agent or a publisher. I wondered about it as I read it, and I’m not quite sure it is. The writerly portions of it were well done, and he said he had gotten crits on all his scenes, but had not gotten anything at a story level before. Two of us thought it needed more work, but one, a guy, thought it was okay. So, I wonder if we were seeing a gender difference.
Second, David did not approach story structure the same way I did. For instance, I’ve always thought the First Scene Situation needed to carry the story through half of Part One, and then give way to the Story Question, followed by the MC deciding, once and for all, to answer the story question, without being able to go back. Nor did David make his MC the true hero. Maybe I’m just too much of a witch about these things.
Third, David asked us if his story was more adult than Young Adult. He threw in, very early, reference to a female who wanted to show a guy her new toys, and at the end made a not very veiled reference to another female, an alien, who showed the MC a cover she had for her razor-sharp teeth, and promised that she always practiced safe sex…for the guy.
Do toys and oral make a story adult instead of YA? Nope. I know what teens do. Ha.
David’s story, very engaging and fast paced, wasn’t very deep. He has opportunities for many subplots and tons of subtext, but he hasn’t take advantage of it. And, I think, the other problem is that his MC, a middle-aged guy just off a divorce, comes off sounding more like the boy who got lucky his sophomore year and then got dumped by the girl who moved on to more exciting guys. David’s MC just needs more depth than that. What is more, his MC needs to be the hero, and to the rescuing, not be rescued.
Of course, my story has none of these problems.
After all, my MC is female, and we don’t have any of these issues. Ha.
I’m starting to read another story in my Beta Reading group
My Own Story
I finished fixing my MC’s speech pattern and word choices. In the process, I added about 800 words to my story. Considering that I put in an entire new first scene that was 1900 words, I managed to trim 1100 words out of the rest of the story. I got a chance to visit some scenes which I had recently added, and was able to squeeze them down a bit.
I am looking at making three sets of changes in my story. First, I want to find a better way to run my scenes in Part One, and I have several goals in mind. People want to see my MC with her villain / love interest before the breakup, so that means at least one more scene. I also haven’t laid out very well how my villain / love interest can love my MC and hate her people, so I need to go further into that. I would also like to put in more about the magic system, and bring a third political element, the pro-Empire crowd, into the story.
I don’t think I can do all that before my book comes up in the beta reading cycle.
I need to finish my group’s second beta read, review it, and give Ash comments on her story. I think it’s written in First Person Present so that will be new for me.
Now that I know what I want to do with magic and the Empire, I think I will begin reordering my Part One, and get it readable before giving it to the Beta Readers. I’m fourth, so I still have over a week to do this.
How am I supposed to have a life while I’m doing all this?