Continental Rift is the title of my first novel. While it is finished, I heard from a couple of agents that it needs improvement. Frankly, that was great feedback. While I know I can write well, putting together a compelling story with engaging characters is more than just writing. I need help learning how to write a great novel.
I'm doing a few things to get this help. I paid for a critique of my first 100 pages by a working agent. I am excited to incorporate her comments into this novel as well as my in-progress novel, Godspun. I have also joined a critique group that I found through an online writing organization in my genre, the Women's Fiction Writer's Association. I now have two critique partners who have also recently finished novels. One of them is in Virginia and the other is in Vancouver, British Columbia. We will critique each other's novels, starting with the first thirty pages. Finally, I participate in at least one online webinar a week to get practical tips on writing and on being an author! I recently finished both critiques I owed my partners, and I've already received one back. I just got the agent critique, and today I learned how to combine the track changes from different documents into one document. This is great and will allow me to look at everyone's comments on the same document. I've decided not to start revising Continental Rift until I have all three critiques. Can't wait! I also worked on revisions to Godspun today. It took me an hour and a half to get through sixteen pages. Now that I'm 100 pages in, I'm reviewing and revising them. When I write a first draft, I'm just trying to get the story on the page, and I let it flow out of me, good or not. I'm going back through those first 100 pages now to correct grammar errors, story inconsistencies, and other issues. In part, I decided to do this now because I think I am going to learn a lot from the critiques of Continental Rift that I will be able to use in drafting Godspun.