Sep 28 2012

Under the Darkened Moon Critiques (Both Good And Bad)

Posted by Mathias

I encourage people to say what they really think whenever they are reading my work in progress (Under the Darkened Moon). I haven’t had it in a formal review setting since I started the live read and final draft process. But, prior to that, I got a lot of feedback from a variety of sources including: my standard review group, writer friends of mine (published and unpublished), and people who I know and who like to read fantasy.

I’m not someone who isn’t willing to let people, whether they liked the book or not, have their say. Here is a sampling of the good and the bad that I got as feedback: (more…)

May 04 2012

Under The Darkened Moon Update

Posted by Mathias

My review group has just finished up the first 26 chapters of my novel Under the Darkened Moon. Good feedback so far with several helpful comments. I have selected the ones I feel are addressable, some of them just aren’t, and have begun weaving fixes into the story.

Right now the novel stands at about 146,000 words. After originally trimming the story back from a 200,000 word first draft and down to 130,000 words, it has given me some room to make these additions over time.

My plans are to get my review group then next ten chapters or so this weekend and perhaps even tonight.

Apr 16 2012

Weeding Down My Review Group

Posted by Mathias

I admit it. When I gathered up people to review my work and give me feedback on my stories that I accepted all comers. I was just thrilled that friends and acquaintances were interested. But as time goes on, it is clear that I need to prune back the group which is like an overgrown tree.

As I have recently tweeted, I let one woman go because she never had anything nice to say about anything. Every comment was snarky and unhelpful to the point of nitpicking. The straw that broke the camel’s back was when she started complaining that I was “showing” where she thought I should be “telling” and visa versa. Not one passage was right to her. She also complained about me having a scene at night when she felt certain it should be during the day. Nothing pleased her and, after conferring with several others reviewing my work, I decided that she was just a bitter person who might know how to write, but who did not know how to deal with other authors.

On the opposite end of the spectrum I have today told another reviewer who “loves” everything and never has a critical thing to say about my work that if she does not start actually critiquing and start giving more than 100% kudos that I will have to drop her from the group as well. I don’t need a “yes man/woman”. I need real opinions.

I will be looking at other people in the review group over the coming weeks as well to try and make the group stronger. I want to produce a good product. The only way to do that is to have serious opinions I can trust.

Mar 28 2012

Under The Darkened Moon Next Rewrite/Edit Started

Posted by Mathias

I have now begun a new edit of my novel Under the Darkened Moon. Feedback from the last rewrite was good but I though of some additional things to put early in the story, particularly pertaining to the world’s magic system. I have touched up the first three chapters and have a group looking at them.

How many more rewrites there will be is uncertain. It will be done when it is done is the way I look at it.

Nov 07 2011

Feedback Received On Short Story “Second Chances”

Posted by Mathias

I have received my feedback on my short story “Second Chances”, a prologue to the novel “Under the Darkened Moon” which I am also working on. That novel is now in its second go through after I completed the rough draft two weeks ago.

I asked people to be critical of the short story, whether or not they liked it and to point out places where improvements were needed.

I have come to conclude that either the story is near perfect or the people who I asked to comment on the story were not willing to give it the sort of critical eye it requires. Now I have to decide how to proceed. I did get some opinions on how to fix some of the verbiage which I am going to implement. But the general consensus among all that read it was that it was a very good story. No one had more than five or six comments and nothing groundbreaking that would cause me to rethink major parts of the story. Everything was minor.

But I will also probably submit the story to a second round of screening to a new group of proofers for their take. While it is possible that the story really is as good as my first round of readers said it was, I just would feel better making sure.

I mean, I have been writing for years. I know how to do it. But since fiction writing is a new thing for me, I need to make sure I get things right before I move this story forward.