Writer's group didn't love my book last night.
That's it, I quit! (just kidding.)
The criticism was in three parts.
1.) Too many characters.
2.) Moving away from witness statements to actual scenes.
3.) Not enough action.
Thing is, all three are legit critiques, and...I have no intention of changing them. You have to understand--I'm usually willing to change most anything I write. For some reason, this book is different. This book is more personal somehow.
1.) Too many characters. I've done this over my last several books, especially with "The Scorching," "Snaked," and now "Takeover." I see it as a kind of disaster movie ensemble. It keeps it interesting to me and keeps the plot moving.
2.) Moving away from "witness statements" to actual scenes: guilty. I made this conscious choice to move into "plot" at this point in the book. I simply didn't see any way to progress the story without doing so. One of the writer's group people more or less winked at me and said, "Maybe you can get away with it."
The idea of having the witness statement "lead" into a scene doesn't really work, I think. A little too tricky. Most of the statements and the scenes are too interlinked and I'd have to find a way to denote the two techniques and I can't see a way to do it without being intrusive.
So I will indeed be trying to get away with it.
3.) Not enough action. When I made the decision to try to make this as "real" as possible, I more or less precluded the idea of Hollywood action scenes every few chapters. I'd hoped the character development would be enough. I'm not going to change that now.
I suspect if I send this to editors, I'll get pretty much the same criticism, so I'm thinking of skipping that part. Just sending it raw to the publisher. The flaws in this book may be inherent. I think I'm over my head.
It also reads very smoothly. Not as much editing there needed. So...
At the same time, I really like what I've done and feel that is good as it is. I understand that my feelings don't count, it's the readers feelings that count, and I could tell about 12 pages in that the writer's group was bored, and I stopped short of the 16 pages I intended to read. But I wasn't bored, I liked it.
I'm going with this book the way I want it and if that means it doesn't get published, so be it. I think it's a good book the way I wanted to write it. That's really what I ask of myself.
For some reason, I'm being stubborn on this particular book. I think I've got it right.
3 days ago