About 10 people read through my first 64 pages and gave me feedback. Besides motivating words and praise, there was of course also criticism. Now I would like to talk about exactly this criticism. It’s not always about positive reactions, but also about helpful tips on how to make your book even better. This blog is supposed to describe the journey to my first novel and that includes a lot of criticism.
1. point of criticism
“I just miss more of your character Emily…. try to tell it more from the character. More how she feels, less what she experiences step by step”.
This is a criticism of the whole story and my writing style. I have received this feedback several times and I have understood it immediately. Already while writing I had trouble to wrap up the whole backstory briefly before it really started. All I had to do was to pay more attention to my character and listen. This feedback opened my eyes and forced me to revise 60 pages completely. But that’s a good thing because now I like the story even better.
2. point of criticism
“You have many word repetitions: The woman ties the suitcase label around the holder and starts the luggage carousel. Emily watches as the suitcase is slowly transported away until it is gone. She imagines how this suitcase travels exactly like her…”
I think that’s pretty clear with these few sentences – but I just didn’t notice! Suitcase occurs twice in one sentence. So work was urgently needed! But if you read the story over and over again as an author, you don’t immediately notice these stylistic errors.
3. point of criticism
“In the beginning everything is described very precisely and long. In my opinion, some things don’t need to be so detailed”.
Also a point that I only noticed after the criticism. I exaggerated the “show, don’t tell” trick. My story had a lot of details about the environment, but it’s more important to show what the characters feel and how they do things. Now I write less detailed, but more soulful. What would a romance novel be without intense feelings?
4. point of criticism
“Did you write Laura so selfish on purpose?”
This is not really a point of criticism. I am writing her like this on purpose. This means that my invested time in the characters is worth it! Nevertheless, I take this as an incentive to write more selfishness in further scenes of Laura, so that you don’t even have to ask.
So, these were the four main points of criticism I received. Maybe they will help you with your story as well. A big thank you to all my test readers and feedback! You are the the best!!