I did it. I went into the critique session with no expectations. I got a good critique, but I wasn't jumping up and down afterwards. It wasn't great. To be honest, I had thought I had edited the bejeebers out of the chapter and that it was ready to be sent off to an agent/editor (just this chapter), but it looks like I've a bit more work to do. *sighs* (PS - I would never send a chapter except as part of a query.)
I suppose, to me, that the most important thing about Friday's critique was that the man understood what I was writing about. This is about the first time that's happened. To put this into perspective --
The criteria for submitting a critique is to put in a certain number of pages. Each conference/critique is different. With the proper heading and formatting. Now, the proper heading means that I can't start the story until almost three-quarters of the way down the page. At the top comes all the qualifiers: name, address, phone, blogpage, and # of words. Then I cursor down quite a ways and center the name of the book then a double space, and my name. Then, and only then, can I start Chapter One. By that time, as you can see, there's only enough room for a few sentences. Double-spaced at that!
So I have not been putting my hook anywhere, or giving a cover letter. I think, the next time, I will write a cover/query letter. I hate 'losing' a page of the story, but I think it would be better. Doing that should help in that I won't spend half the allotted time telling what's next in the story. That elevator pitch / hook should then dispel any questions the critiquer has. I'll try it. What do I have to lose except a two hundred some page of writing. Shees!
I also don't feel too bad about the critique because my editor came to me and said she got blasted at her critique. She didn't tell me to garner sympathy, more to say that, even a 40+ book author can get a bad critique, so don't get discouraged. Though by the look on her face, I could tell she was discouraged.
Yesterday, last day of the conference, I was saying thanks to one of the volunteers and she told me her review had not gone well either. I commiserated with her. These are things to remember for the next time I get a review.
Life is treacherous.
PS - Another woman came up to me at the end of the conference, told me she'd been part of the group critique on Friday and 'loved' the chapter I'd read to the group. *does happy dance*
PSS - This is the same chapter I presented to the critiquer. Shees!