Today, I took Chapters 2, 3 and 4 to the CITE Writers Group for critique.
I have really been motivated to write and since last week's meeting. I finished drafting the next three chapters since last week's meeting.
We never got to my new chapters. Instead, the Group wanted to work on Chapter 1 again.
During the past week I had asked my friend, Jim, who is currently working in Iraq as a contractor, for help with a couple of military speak questions. My edit of Chapter 1 incorporated those ideas and I shared the revised Chapter 1 with the Group.
Jim also told me in response to a question that he wasn't hooked until the action on page two. So, the Group told me to cut the first page of the story and start where Jim was hooked.
I lost my fantastic first paragraph at last week's meeting. This week I lost the rest of the first page. If they critique Chapter 1 again next week, I'll probably lose the first chapter. Good grief!
My problem is that I still don't like my opening hook, but, I don't know how to make it better.
The remainder of the group's comments and suggestions were excellent. I am learning a lot from their input. They just may make a writer out of me yet.
I am writing with very short sentences. One of their suggestions involves combining short sentences to create longer more complicated sentences. And they talked about literary techniques I've never heard or read of. I complained that they were going to have me writing a literary thriller. They responded what's wrong with that. What did you mean to write?
I just wanted to write a thriller. Period.