So, I just thoroughly went through my first and second chapter critiques from my fabulous critique partners and...wow. The things they point out just really blow my mind. They get me thinking so much more deeply about my novel it's incredible.
Think about the way your character sees the world. Would she really use this word?
Add a small hint here so we get an inkling that the main character's troubles might be even bigger than this.
Why isn't she more emotional about this?
Why does she wonder that? We need to see more introspection.
And so much more advice like that.
Yes, it would be great if I could see all the little problems with my writing myself. I know these pages aren't ready by any means but, sweet mother of highlighters. I see a lot more things I need to revise now that I've gotten my critique partner's opinions than when I was just marking up the manuscript myself. I've written so many notes on my pages, they're full of lines and circles and different colored scribbles. It's a lovely, gigantic mess.
It should be quite daunting, and it is, except for the fact that they said some really good things that make me know I have to keep going. I mean, I've practically begged them to tell me the thing sucks so I can just go back to my nice, happy picture book writing. But I will go on. Revise the heck out of these chapters, then go back for more. Watch out chapter three and four. I'm coming for you.