Aargh! This is a picture of my critique group after the first, whole novel critique, which we call a marathon, for my new mid-grade novel, Haven Keep. Okay, the photo was doctored a bit for fun. It is historical fiction set in 1717 where pirates and colonial settlers vie for control over the sheltered coastal town of Kentville, North Carolina. I'm using alternating viewpoints of two very different boys, a pirate and a colonial, each struggling to find a home where they can realize their dreams.
In this critique session, the whole manuscript is given to members of our critique group four to six weeks ahead of the scheduled "marathon." Everyone reads the work and make in-line comments as well as an overview of suggestions. We make a day of it, including lunch, and have a bit of fun to go with the criticism. Thus the picture.
Fresh eyes give invaluable suggestions for working on the next draft of the piece.
Aargh! Now I'm off to do another draft. With their help it will be even better.