Today was the second ORA (Ozarks Romance Authors) meeting I have gone to. It was fun. Last night I surpassed the 50,000 word milestone and decided I’d take my first ten pages to the ORA critique group. I printed out 10 copies stuffed them in to my folder and went back to work on my story.
As I read through those first ten pages again, I realized that nearly every paragraph started with “My” or “I”. Apparently that’s an inherent hazard of writing in first person. I had not done any revisions or rewriting yet, I just wanted to plow through and get the story out and onto paper so I could see that word count rise and validate all the time I was spending on it. I’m still 20,000 words short of a publishable length but it’s two thirds finished and I don’t have the ending written so I’m not worried yet.
I reworked those first ten pages and cleaned up the obvious and glaring mistakes and reprinted them, exchanged them for the first set and took my folder downstairs.
I still wasn’t sure I was actually going to let anyone read it yet. I wasn’t quite ready for the dream to be crushed.
This morning I got up and headed to ORA. One of the members, Beth Carter just had an adorable children’s book published and since she had a book signing across town the critique group was only three members today. I was still waffling as to whether or not to offer it up for sacrifice. I did.
You have to read your work aloud while the others read along and make notes and marks as you go, then at the end each person takes a turn critiquing your work … aloud … in front of God and everyone. I was a little scared. I read fast like I was trying to rip a Bandaid off a hairy arm so it would hurt less.
They did not eviscerate me or my first ten pages so hope still springs eternal. They gave me some good suggestions and wanted to know what happened next. That’s a good sign since none of them really dig paranormal romance.
Before I left, I gave a copy to two other members to read and critique and I know they are both pretty tough and thorough from hearing them at the last meeting but at least the debut wasn’t met with utter disgust so I suppose that’s something.
The dream is still alive.