My wife finished the story last night. Her assessment: “it was good.” After standing in the kitchen as she…what was she doing? Anyway, after standing there in the kitchen waiting for the rest of the assessment for a moment…I realized that was pretty much it. Don’t get me wrong, that’s fabulous, but I was looking for more. So we began the grill again as I drilled down on the last couple of chapters and the story as a whole.
Checklist of things to work on:
- One chapter needs to be reworked to make it fit in with the rest of the story better.
- The ending has a lot of confusing moments. She didn’t say that, but there were a lot of moments that she missed or misunderstood, and looking back, they’re all on me. I know all the circumstances that make these moments possible, and I haven’t made them clear.
- She also said that there was a very anticlimactic scene in the ending. Totally agree, will rewrite.
- Various themes, foreshadowing of events, characters, etc. need to be strengthened.
She was annoyed that I was wanting to grill her like this, but in doing so we both realized that what she picked up on and what I wrote had several forks in the path where we parted ways. They always came back together, but it made for some confusing moments. This makes sense, the end was the hardest part for me and I knew it would need the most work. It’s not that I want my reader to see exactly what I see, but I don’t want there to be any assumptions or plot holes based on slipshod writing.
Except for the first bullet point, I knew most of this was coming. I already have another person (okay, it’s my mom, and that sounds really bad but if you had ever seen her sci-fi and fantasy collection, you’d understand) reading it as well and her feedback will be really interesting. I want to see how the two compare, where they agree and where they disagree. The two opinions can be…well, they can be quite contrary from one another. I can’t wait to find out that they both had the same assessment but for wildly different reasons.
What made me the happiest though is that my protagonist came off exactly as I wanted him. He has a past that haunts him, that makes him irrational at times. She couldn’t make up her mind if she like him or not, but she felt he was intriguing. He has that ticking time bomb sensibility, a bitterness and cynicism that colors his actions. All that is wrapped up with a snarky attitude that makes him a fun character. That was more or less her assessment, and I was happy to hear it.