I got my critque back from the Writers League of Texas manuscript contest. I submitted the 1st 10 pages of my first chapter. It's a YA fiction novel in progress. They've changed the format of their critique and actually provide a score card. The disappointing part is that I didn't score as well as I would have liked. The exciting part is that my reviewer pointed out the exact same items that I needed to work on that my the reviewer from the Ohio conference noted. At least they are unanimous in what I needed to work on. Both of them said that I showed promise and that if I just fixed these few items that I would have a great story.
Things I still struggle with are:
1) Taking the adult out of my younger characters
2) Not really setting the scene
3) Rushing through my story/scenes
Critiques don't hurt my feelings. I am here to learn and am grateful to have my work placed in front of a professional that takes the time to pinpoint those areas in my writing that need work. I'm a student/writer in learning mode.
I have to say that I don't think I really knew where my story was going until I mapped it out and that has helped me tremendously. I will do that from now on.
I thought of going back to fix the first 4 chapters but decided against it. I just finished chapter 5 and have tried to incorporate their feedback. I'm afraid that if I continually go back that I will never finish the book. I have to remind myself that this is my draft and that books are meant to be revised and tweaked before they are submitted.
I remember during one of the WLT meetings that someone asked the question-how do I get off chapter 1? Apparently, that's common for new writers. The answer was to remember books are created as drafts and there will be revisions. Get through your story and finish the book. It's more important to finish the book, then do revisions, then to keep revising Chapter 1 until you're happy with it.