Self Doubt, Panic and Readers Expectations
The set up: I took the opening to Heart Secret to critique group a couple of weeks ago (I have two). The first thing I was told was, "This is VERY dark."
Well, I think most of you know that I've had a dark couple of years. And I am allowed to put dark stuff in my books, of course. But I also know that most of my readers think of me as overall feel-good (and I'm completely okay with that) and I must take that into consideration. So NO Dark and Grim and Sad in Chapter 1 or 2.
In fact, recently I was recommended a very funny book by an author I enjoy. But she got up front about her heroine's flaws (and her heroine's flaws and situation were a little too much like my own). Did I read on the to funny parts? No. Did I put the book down after the first chapter? Yes. Will I go back to that book? No.
So, back to me. No Dark, Grim, and Sad in Chapters 1 or 2, which means, of course that Self Doubt and Panic lurk for me and bother me in my dreams. Am I good enough to rework Chapter 1 and 2 and still get the set up in that I want?
I can only do my best -- that is usually my mantra in this kind of situation. So there it is. I am doing the best with the resources I have.
Now I have another critique group, but since we are large today, only the first 10 manuscript pages are going to be read. And I've written a bit about the Baker St irregular cats to chapter 1 (from chapter 4)...and the very sad and grim and dark will be moved to chapter 8, about a quarter through the book.
Yes, writer/neurotic = redundant. Know this before you get into the business/the game.
And may YOU be free of Self Doubt and Panic today.