Having my work critiqued by an agent was an eye opening experience. I submitted the first thirty pages of Product of an Illusion to Nathan Bransford for a critique that I won via Brenda Novak's auction for Diabetic Research. I won't go into the nitty gritty details, but I will share some things that I learned, how I digested it, and where it leaves me at today. For those who don't regularly follow this blog, the manuscript that I submitted to Nathan was a rewrite, of a rewrite, of a rewrite. Five years in the making, it was the best that I thought I could put out.
1. He liked the plot. (inner squee!!)
2. He thought I could craft interesting scenes and images (double squee!!)
3. I need to polish my voice. (hmmm....I'll have to work on that)
4. Too many adverbs (Wince. How did I miss those? I know adverbs are a no no)
5. Too many exclamation points and italics are used to say rather than show what is going on. (Stupid me. I know you're supposed to show rather than tell. I know that.)
6. Inconsistent narrative.
7. The protagonists is being bounced around rather than playing active role. (I feared this. I really did. And I am so glad Nathan came right out and just said it.)
And now for the most important thing Nathan helped me realize....
The cast for Product of an Illusion is large. Each character has a unique back story and in some way contributes to the protagonist. But, its been difficult orchestrating everyone and moving the plot along because I chose to tell this story from first person. I've always written everything in first person. I'm not sure why that is. And, I've always seen writing in third person as daunting. On a whim, I did write the prologue in third person, and after I wrote it there was this voice in my head, haunting me, telling me....You should tell this story in third person. You should tell this story in third person. But I just didn't do it. So I asked Nathan what he thought about me rewriting the story in third person. He thought it might be a good idea.
So, I'm back at square one. Pages Zero. Not only am I going to switch the point of view of the story but I'm going to change up the plot so that Maya (the protag) is actively moving the story along. I think I'm just going to lay low for awhile. Research. Brain storm. Write some other things for fun. And maybe with the start of the new year jump into the rewrite.