Pirates and First Page Critiques
I arrived late to the Lake Yale Conference Center last night and quickly changed into the pirate costume I’d pulled together for the contest. Our theme this year is “Finding Your Treasure.” Aargh, matey. Of course, I lost, lol, but I didn’t expect to win. The real treasure was just getting to rejoin my writerly friends, again. I’ve been meeting with this group for the last three years and I love them. We encourage each other and critique our pieces so we can give the public the best reading experience that we can offer.
And that leads me to the “First Page Critique.” This year I entered the first and part of the second chapter of America’s Fiction. I received some great feedback, and will probably edit the chapters I’ve posted on this blog. First, Heather, another writer, read my piece, and no one knew it was mine. While she read it aloud I was able to gauge the reactions of the audience. At the end of the reading, and especially after Chapter 1, I heard some say, “Wow.” That made me smile.
I waited on pins and needles for the critique. A panel of three writers, including the famous Eva Marie Everson, addressed what they loved about the piece and where I could strengthen it.
But my very favorite critique and one that will stick with me as I try to finish this book was, “This is something that is really good. Don’t stop.”
Gosh. I needed to hear that. I often wonder if what I’m writing is any good and if anyone would want to read it.