I've gotten 5 chapters back from my dad and it was covered in red! For those who don't know, he is an author/editor by trade and he has graciously taken the time to do for me what he has done for many famous authors. For FREE!!!!
You will laugh when I tell you that when he sent the first chapter back, he had more notes than I had pages! Sigh...such is the life of a first time writer. The second and third chapters did not have as many edits and notes, but then came chapter 4 and 5.
OH. MY. GOODNESS.
There were major issues. It seems I have some major character development problems. I have an unlikeable heroine and, as you know, that is not a good thing! lol I tried to create tension between the hero and heroine and have them bicker and tease each other, but evidently I've overdone it and my heroine is coming off whiny.
That is just one thing among many problems. The good news is, so far my plot is good! So as long as the story is there, everything else is fixable. (Of course, it is only chapter 5 and there are 28 more chapters to go...so I am keeping my fingers crossed regarding the plot!)
I will say that I gave my book to my dad too early. Most writers pen their book, join a critique group, get feedback on their writing, and rewrite several times. Nope, not me. My dad wanted to read my book. He said I might as well let him be the critiquer and save myself a step. :) While definitely true, it puts him in the hard position of 1) having more work for him to do, and 2) having to tell his daughter all her problems in writing! Poor Dad!
While it is a bit discouraging to see all that red on my pages, I am so incredibly grateful I am getting a teacher and mentor, to help me really learn how to write better. I am going to learn so much from his notes and advice. He is a gentle teacher and can couch the criticism in an encouraging way. I know, I know, you all want to borrow my dad!
Now I only wish I had time to start working on my book!!!! I've worked 59 hours in the last 7 days, which is typical of August. After August, I will have more time, but for now, it will be good for me to take the time, step back from the book, and come back at it with fresh eyes.
Just thought I would share a little more of my journey, such as it is.
Have any of you writers out there gotten a professional editor or a thorough critique partner to look at your book? If so, how do they do it? Do they just add comments or do they actually rework your sentences? I'm just curious as to what is typical.