Last week I submitted my short story to Writer’s Digest University for a critique and feedback. I’m thrilled with the response and suggestions I received. If anyone has ever considered this service for a manuscript or short story I would highly recommend their service.
I will begin with the “needs work” part: participles, use of dialect, and those darned commas. I can fix that. I’m going to quote the other feedback from her.
“Several aspects of your writing come shining through right away, making your work quite readable. One good sign is your characterization. You’ve made Jo a sympathetic and likeable character, and that is vitally important. When a reader does not care about a character, then she won’t finish reading a story. Fortunately, readers will like Jo because of the way you’ve presented her. Readers quickly grow to care about her and they want to find out what will happen to her. Good work, Jenifer.
Another thing you’ve done right is create excellent suspense. I could mentally see the scenes in this story like a movie, and I could hear the suspenseful and scary music in the background. I don’t think that creating suspense is anything that can be taught. It’s something that comes natural to you, a gift.
One more thing you’re doing right is being really hard on Jo. Writer Vanessa Grant explains it like this: The harder you make life for your characters, the better your reader will like the book. Until you reach the final scene, every transaction must present new problems or new developments to old problems….To be a good storyteller, you must treat your characters terribly, throwing their worst fears in their faces. Until the end, you must remain nasty to your characters. This is something you do, and it’s working for you.
You’ve infused your work with an appealing emotional content that the reader can tap into. That emotion is essential to effective fiction. It’s what readers craveàan opportunity to feel without personal risk. To feel emotion is why we bother to pick up a book and read. One of your strengths as a writer is your ability to show your characters in the midst of all-consuming emotional situations.”
Tears welled in my eyes after reading that. I’m encouraged! I am excited!
So off to work on some fixes of the story.
Until Next Time…