Does it sound weird to say that I love it when my writing is critiqued? I love knowing where I've had gaps, how it's received to an objective reader. I love knowing that I'm not done yet. Maybe that's because I'm a middles person, not a beginnings or endings one.
Receiving (A LOT) of feedback on my manuscript has shown me things I had never thought of. Many times, being too buried in your work has its consequences. Here are a few points I wanted to share:
1. Let your M.C. stand out but don't let him or her call all the shots. Mine needed some external pressure, forces pushing her different directions, ultimatums, time crunches, etc. Each character served as a force.
2. Make book club questions! Look at those of other novels and see how they help indicate spots for character development and conflict.
3. When in a rut, look inside your own life. What did you feel when you first fell in love? Were betrayed? Were pushed over? What reactions---physical and emotional---took place?
I was in heaven this past weekend. If I can ever describe it, I'll consider that a great step.
But for now, there are pictures.