Last week I took a small but noticeable leap outside my comfort zone & submitted a piece from last years NaNoWriMo to the writing group I’m a part of, People’s Ink, for critique. It went both better & a million times better than I could have hoped! I managed to not freak out at all about it, partly due to the fact that I feel this story & piece of writing is my best chance at *gulp* actually finishing something novel like. Also, now in my current description of myself, I can call myself a novel writer; unpublished certainly, but not a day goes by I haven’t touched this project, at least for the last month or so. That’s pretty good progress for me, & shows more dedication than I was expecting of myself.
I received several very good bits of constructive critique, as well as more than faint praise & interest in several different ideas/themes I’ve been musing over for this project. One of my favorite thoughts from another member was my command of the language, meaning I can string a few words together in a way that pulled her into the story-just enough to show the bits that were rough, or that I hadn’t chosen a direction or plot point yet.
I have a lot of work to do, but the group’s recommendation of a story board is what I’m going to be working on for a week or so, & really nail down the who, what, & Big Idea before I really write any more scenes.
The biggest thing that helped me was just talking about it with other like minds. The kid listens when I read aloud & loves it, & he’s a good cheerleader, & so in the boyfriend, but both in slightly puzzled ways, like they don’t quite understand the woman’s driving need to punch a keyboard & mutter to herself. So now I’m revved up, with a bunch of new or solidified ideas, & itchy fingers!