I submitted to strangers once again this week. Miss Snark’s First Victim opened her blog for submissions of the first 1,000 words of your novel for critique by her readers. A previous version of the first chapter of my novel-in-progress The Brevity of Roses was critiqued by over a dozen other writers, but only a couple had read the revision. So, yesterday I submitted the revised excerpt and hoped for the best.
There are shortcomings in such a format. For one, no blurb or setup was part of the submission, and I think that is a liability. A reader picking up a published book would have this information from the back cover or flap before reading the opening pages. Some questions I’ve received in comments would not have been asked, if I had been able to give a little setup. Also, italic formatting was lost in translation to the blog, so a few sentences meant to be italicized indicating direct thought, inspired questions whether these were POV slips. [Turns out, I did have a minor POV problem, just not in these lines.]
Despite these shortcomings, I’ve had some very good feedback. Some of it funny. I discovered my Meredith is a lush! This impression came from the fact that I pictured her being served those two-ounce glasses of wine served in expensive restaurants, while most others apparently pictured full glasses [like I usually pour myself 🙂 ] One person even suggested an actor to play Meredith in the filmed version … may it be a box office smash!
Thank you, Miss Snark’s First Victim and her readers. I am thrilled to have such generous writers offer their help to me. I’m off to edit and tweak … again.