I may or may not have mentioned in past posts some very important people in my life. My writer's group (aka Once Upon a Keyboard), are what I would consider the Godparents on my novel. And yes, they give me nothing but love.
Now before you scream foul, and whisper behind your hands that only positive feedback is the worst thing a novel can have (unless it's been written by a supreme being and therefore has no flaws...and I guarantee that's not the case with R.A.G.E.), let me expound.
My writer's group are some of the most positive people I know (sure), with nothing but great ideas backed by intelligence, deeply grounded personal opinions, and the type of affection for their poor, flailing Godchild that tends to bring out the criticism.
Yes...I said criticism. From the beginning there has been a lot of pats on the back, lots of praise and lots of that hard-to-take-but-necessary-if-Godchild-has-any-chance-of-surviving criticism.
Example: even with R.A.G.E. out with the professional editors for Shelfstealers, I still handed it back around to my Keyboardians for last chance critiques. And you know what they found? Mistakes!! *gasp* I know, how embarrassing! Some were small easy fixes. However, I know of at least one case a major mistake was pointed out. It had to do with the dialogue of my Main Character that, it was agreed on, made her sound too childish. The problem was presented to me in the best way possible (i.e. with hesitation, downcast eyes, and a nerve of steel) and it took a good twenty minutes for fellow Keyboardian Terra Luft, to get her point across. Once I understood what she was trying to say, I responded in the best way possible (with a bit of welling about the eyes, a growl of frustration, and a resolve to ignore her). However, when I didn't sleep well that night, (thinking psuedo cuss words at aforementioned Terra Luft that my MC said too much of) I went back and looked at R.A.G.E. again with fresh eyes.
It was true, my writer's group loved me enough to anger me into taking a drastic action that succeeded in making my Main Character sound like an adult rather than a teenybopper. Bullet dodged.
Have I mentioned how much I love my writer's group? They took me out to dinner the other night to celebrate the publishing contract and also gave me the best gift a writer/reader could ask for--a gift card to Barnes and Noble. :) So here in front of the fifty six followers I have, I would just publicly like to thank the Godparents of R.A.G.E.
Keyboardians, you guys are amazing. Thanks for showing the love!
Do you have a group willing to say the hard stuff? How's that going for you?