I am a proud member of the Women’s Fiction Writers’ Association.
They offer excellent training sessions and workshops, and their online community is amazing. I love these women.
Right now there is a workshop going on where a big group of us are sharing our first 500 words of our stories and giving feedback to each other. There is a very specific format of what areas should be commented on, and each participant is expected to critique five different submissions, selecting those with less than 5 responses already. In theory, we will all get and give 5 fresh perspectives.
The feedback from the women in my group on my second novel has been amazing. I’m going to rewrite my first scene to incorporate in some of their suggestions. I did get one piece of feedback that had me stop dead in my tracks. An expletive was said. Okay, more than one. There was a fatal flaw in my underlying premise. (Add your favorite bad word here.)
I had just finished my sixth and final for right now revision of the whole book, and I was looking forward to starting the querying process after tightening up the beginning, and then I was contemplating putting it in a drawer until I could fix it, if it was fixable.
When I told DH2U about my feedback, he was certain I’d figure out a sentence or two that would allow me to get around the problem. How could a foundational flaw be written away so easily? It wasn’t possible.
And then I slept on it. With the changes I need to make to the first scene anyway, I figured a two sentence dialogue exchange that will in fact address it. Whether or not my audience buys into it is another thing, but it confronts the issue head on.
How did I ever find such a wonderful man? I should marry him. Oh yeah, I am … this April. After 9 years together the timing felt right.