My N today for the A-Z Challenge is Numb. It's how I felt after a recent meeting with my Writers' Workshop. I'm always willing to put myself forward and read out loud, even though it scares me to death, my mouth goes dry and the words start dancing across the page and all my confidence drains away! (Just talking about it and I break out in cold sweat). But the point is as writers we need feedback, someone to bounce ideas around with.
A few weeks ago I read the start of my novel and it went down really well. The course leader said I should give a master class in opening chapters. Mine is a complex story with 9 main characters. After reading this week I was met with a barrage of criticism. Phrases like 'I think you missed a trick here' 'I feel disappointed after such a good start', 'you have so many characters I feel like I need to make notes.'
All of this was like a nail in my coffin and I stayed awake most of the night wondering what I could do about it. Then I woke up and the answer hit me like a safe dropping on my head. Edit!
Of course, edit. Just because you had your audience gasping for more in one chapter you shouldn't get complacent. They were right. I had lost what I started with and I needed to edit like crazy to get back to the level I'd already managed to achieve. Nothing annoys me more than a book that starts with promise and leaves me bored and cheated as I go along.
So I'm in edit mode. I tend to edit as I go along rather than just clatter away for chapters on end. The plot lines are all there in my notebook. I just need to maintain the intensity and interest. But I really need to edit!