Preparing for My Critique Group

My critique group falls in a week on March 24 with the Jefferson City Novelists Group (JCNG) and I am really looking forward to this. I admit, I have participated on a minimal basis in the past, but I am hoping at least 3-4 other people show up to read my opening chapters and give feedback.

Of course, I hope to have something to read to give feedback on as well. I am not completely selfish. I like to read the work of others and help them improve themselves. It is just much harder to do with one’s own work. I try to give every writer I read for the full scale of my skills and attention.

I want to receive feedback on whether or not the conflict that takes place in the beginning chapters is strong enough. I want to receive feedback as to whether the climactic conflict is enough or if it needs something more. Conflict in my plot is the main thing I need to work on.

I also need to know how much setting to give and how much to leave out because as I did my read through I noticed I had described nothing. It was as if it was all in my head and I assumed they saw it too.

At this point, my hero feels to perfect and I want to ask what kind of flaw would still be in character.

I feel I build on the love story fairly well, but I wonder if my heroine is too weepy at times. I may need to make her a little stronger. I know when I read a book, I like strong female leads.

I would also like some suggestions for beats in my dialogue. I have them in places and not in others. In most places I just have words being spoken and no action around the dialogue.

By not outlining at least a few of my plot points I feel I made a huge mistake writing Romeo and Geekette. It is still a very rough draft and needs a lot of revision if it is going to see the light of day.

In my short fiction, I have been trying to get in the habit of doing at least a little plotting, even if it changes in the final draft. I have found that practicing this has made writing much easier. I still plan to be a pantser, but I want to be a slightly more prepared pantser.

Are you a plotter or a pantser? How do you prepare to write?

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