Thursday, February 13, 2014

Early Smallfoot Crits Very Encouraging

First critiques for Love in Smallfoot Alley are in, and I'm greatly encouraged. This little story, remember, started as part lark, part experiment, and I really wasn't dedicated to it.   I abandoned it and kept going back to it, and the story and characters started growing on me. I'm quite invested in them now, emotionally and time-wise, so I'm delighted at the positive cast of the early critiques.

I've received four on the opener, and here are some of the very encouraging comments and suggestions:
~~ CRIT ONE ~~

Dialog: You're really strong here.

Language: Again, this is something you're doing really well. Your language is interesting. There's a bit of a southern drawl to them. But the 3rd person POV uses some $50 thousand dollar words (SAT words if you have a kid in high school) like rivulets and to a lesser extent perfunctory. To me they kind of jumped out as not fitting in the scene. But I haven't read the other chapters so it's hard to say if they are out of place in a bigger context.

Impression of story: It's scary. The dialogue flows perfectly and I can picture the scene. Overall, I loved it!!

~~ CRIT TWO ~~

I'm a bit lazy when it comes to critting and generally don't bother if something looks like it'd be too much work. The unique opening drew me in and I like that you begin immediately with the MC and a setting and what she's doing.   
I wasn't assuming she was easily frightened at all. The pacing and tension was excellent and you'd make a really good horror writer.That said, I'm not seeing Romance here just yet, but it's definitely something I'd read on for now.  
Just watch for longer sentences and try to break some of them up a bit more, and be sure not to overdo it with the commas. I pointed out the most noticeable ones...
Overall, well done. 

... thanks for the opportunity to read your chapter! Overall I like it a lot, I think it's an intriguing start with interesting characters and setup, and I'm curious to know what happens next. I made a few comments/suggested edits in the text, these are just my personal opinion so feel free to ignore if you don't agree! 

I don't personally think the chapter is too long at all, it seems about right to me. You could possibly have a 'cliffhanger' chapter break with 'her scream filled the night', but really I think it's fine as it is.


I enjoyed this scene. I don’t think the chapter is too long at all. Hopefully my comments make sense and are helpful. I think you have a great start to your story. By adding a bit more interiority, and a few level changes in emotions, I think you can tighten this scene up to give it a bit more punch.

Most crits are done by authors. Once I've made changes to the manuscript based on the critiques, I'll submit the whole thing to beta readers. They usually aren't writers, they're readers, and their evaluations come from a whole different standpoint.

But regardless of whether they're critiques or beta reads, you can see why hostile and abusive "evaluations" of my writing by fault-finders and back-biters like Simpson and BParks -- who base their criticism not on my writing but on their personal animosity for me -- flows off me like water off a duck's back.

Duck image: Free Clip Art