Tough Love

Ah, my hands and feet are still recovering from yesterday’s crucifixion session that is my bi-weekly critique group :).

The Good

  • Usual characterization praises: “believable,” “realistic,” etc. One reader called the two main characters “the perfect teenagers.”
  • Relationship between the protag and his gf that’s “cute,” “intriguing,” and “dynamic.”
  • Piece had a “good hook,” was “funny” and was a “nice combination between fun and weird.”
  • Usual praises about the rhythm of some of the prose.

The Bad

  • The reader who considered my characters the “perfect teenagers” was the only one to consider them teenagers! Most of the group pictured college-age kids.
  • The reasons why the protagonist continues to subject himself to the situation I put him in need to be sharpened a bit.

The Ugly

  • I didn’t describe my main characters physically. There was some disagreement about the utility of doing that vs. letting the reader “fill in the blanks.”
  • Once again, I went for “too vague” with respect to a certain scene, which opened doors to questions that don’t have much to do with the story.

The best part is, as the group brainstorms their suggestions for fixes, I came up with a couple of solutions that weren’t discussed. It’s so incredibly useful watching them tread through a process that I’d have to go through if I was doing this on my own!