Always quirky, sometimes sweet speculative fiction

Writers Group – My First Critique

In my previous post ‘Nerves’ I told you all that I had submitted the first chapter and a half of my current WIP for critique. One of the reasons I chose that was because of how much I was struggling with my revision of the first draft and how I couldn’t pin-point what was wrong. Well my group certainly knew! It was unanimous that my protagonist was a whiny, passive bitch. It makes perfect sense. In Storybook Perfect my main protagonist (Yui Watanabe) is already a strong young woman so doesn’t have a great deal of growth in that area. I wanted Fanta to grow more so I purposefully weakened her at the start, burdening her with an anxiety disorder among other things. Unfortunately I made her so weak she’s not easily likeable.

Fortunately this is something I can fix. The person Fanta becomes later in the story will simply have to be clearer at the start. I’m quite confident that this is the problem I was sensing from my manuscript – the false/forced growth of my protagonist. I’m sorry Fanta, hopefully they’ll like you a bit more next time ;p

Getting my work critiqued was great. It was also widely agreed that the alternate world setting was awesome. That makes me beam with pride since the reason my other novel was turned down by the agent who requested the full manuscript was because the world was too ‘stock standard fantasy’(I’ve made a lot of changes now so it’s a bit less run-of-the-mill for those curious – I listen to feedback). Funnily enough she disliked the world, but loved my protagonist – the exact opposite of this story, so I’m laughing quite a bit right now.

I also really love talking to several of the members of the group. I’m looking forward to next time eagerly.


  1. Merrilee

    Sounds like you have a great crit group there. A good outcome!

    Characters can be a bugger sometimes. You don’t want them too all-powerful, but you don’t want them useless, either. It’s a juggling act. Good luck with the revision!
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    • Kirstie

      I love the group, there’s some great guys and gals. They’re a nice mix of published, close to published and not quite there yet, even one planning to self-publish, so there’s a whole range of opinions. It was great to get the outside opinion because I couldn’t figure it out myself, probably because I knew who my character would be so loved her for that. I’m so glad I joined. Thanks for the well-wishes too.

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