Yes, I received a critique of my work in progress. Strangely, my trusted reader did not share my mother's, "I laughed, I cried!" sentiments.
Sure, he said it was fun and funny (the bread) and had cool quirky characters (the other piece of bread) but the meat in the critique sandwich was as hard to swallow as week old dry turkey. A Turkey Club sandwich apparently, because couched in between an equal number of compliments, none of which I can or will ever remember, were some not so delicious slabs of constructive criticism:
"The characters gossip too much."
"Maybe you should add another death sooner in the book."
While I didn't agree with all the comments, I can certainly read between a line or too. My perfect, wry, funny mystery which was going to be finished here in a matter of weeks will need a run through with an eye on tension and a pacing edit before it's ready for the big time.
If it weren't for a newly acquired intolerance for lactose and butterfat, I'd have headed right down to Bonnie Brae Ice Cream (If you're ever in Denver don't miss it) for a banana split.
Instead I'm going to quit the writing biz (but only for tonight) and dig back into finishing this not quite final draft tomorrow. As I'm working, I'll be praying for the inspiration I'll need to go along with the perspiration it's going to take to serve up the book the way I want it to be.
In the meantime, I'd love any tricks, hints and suggestions on upping tension and pacing from you pros out there.
Please? I'll buy the ice cream.