Well the Lord answered the prayer for a critique partner, and based on how this first week has gone, I think we're off to a great start. It's really amazing what a set of fresh eyes can reveal and how much stronger it makes the writing.
Granted, I have a constant reader who I think the world of and a special lady in New York who also proofs for me, but there's something about that completely neutral third person who has zero interest in sparing my feelings that helps flesh out my team.
Of course, I'm a little loath to admit that I don't normally respond well to criticism in pretty much any form, except my writing. I don't really understand why that is. Maybe because I want the book to be as strong as it possibly can, whereas I sort of think I'm already *perfect* the way I am. Like I said, loathe to admit, because yes... I say all those things like "God is still working on me," or "I still have a lot to learn about being more Christ-like" and I don't think I'm lying. I think I'm just... sort of saying the right thing. My friend told me she doesn't pray for patience, because God will send it. More specifically, a way to learn to acquire it. I think I opened my eyes to that this weekend. Change and growth as a person is a difficult, but necessary part of being a Christ follower. It's time to start getting as open and intentional about it in my life as I am in my writing.
I did not make my goal of 3,000 words this weekend and I blame two very good books I could not put down. RANCHER'S REUNION by Tina Radcliffe and TO WIN HER HEART by Karen Witemeyer. Speaking of good books, GATES OF FIRE is here! I just have to go pick it up at the local B&N. (Thank you!!!)
But... I did make the first 3,000 words of CHASING THE LION even better thanks to feedback from my newest critique partner. The beginning is getting really strong I feel, and I'm in the home stretch of the final chapters now which is very exciting.
Then there will be summaries and query letters to write. I've been reading some great and informative blogs and it makes sense that if you're going to query agents, to hold off on querying publishing houses directly. I'm having to think on this. But I've got some time left. As a matter of fact... until July 4th weekend.
That's the deadline I've given myself to have the book ready.Now let's see if we make that goal like we made NaNoWriMo.