Went to my writers' group today and presented chapters sixteen and seventeen. They were well received. One of the best things about these critiques is that no one finds grammatical errors with my writing. Nor POV - which is a hoot! I am very glad that after all these years of writing, I usually abide by the 'rules' of writing. The problem with these critiques is that they are superficial. Good story and that's about it.
I spent a lengthy amount of time with the sci-fi author after the meeting. I believe he finally understands that I am not a 'hobby' writer -- that I want to write well enough to be published. He was most forthright. After three years of being with the group, I finally got what I wanted. The truth.
1) He said the story, though good, has no zing. I agree.
2) He said the story needs to have more magic -- more unusual magic. I agree. (I know why I have kept it to a minimum so far - but I think I must change that.)
3) He said the changes wrought by the wizards did not seem impactful enough to cause my heroine to need to save her world. (A point the author who did my critique on Thursday also espoused.) He said there was not enough pain (and consequences) surfacing from the changes in the environment.
4) He said there was a lack of urgency to set things right. The necromancer told my heroine she had a year to prepare -- they all had a year to prepare to fight the wizards -- and that, I know, has given my heroine a false sense of time. But that destroys the sense of urgency -- which can be fixed by taking care of point #3.
5) He said the conflict between Kaspar and Kathleen is primary. The story will only be better if I spend more time on that.
As you can see, some great points. I owe the man!!!
Life is an adventure.