I’ve gotten some major feedback on my novel and now I’m frantically rewriting.
When I first got it, I had to sit down and do some big thinking. I kept getting consistent reports that my heroine was coming across as weak. I had to consider that it might not be my presentation which was flawed, it might be my concept. You can fix flawed presentation. Concept, if you change that, you’re effectively writing a whole other story.
I think that you always have to be open to that reality as a writer. Or as any kind of artist, really. Sometimes, what you’re trying to create has a central, unfixable flaw. No matter how much you love it, it might not work. History is full of examples of those who took something considered “unpublishable” and proved the world wrong. And full of even more examples of those who should have listened in the first place.
I remember reading some advice a long time ago (I believe it was William Goldman, but I’m not sure). Never have a sacred cow in your story. In other words, don’t get so attached to any one aspect that you can’t change it. Because sometimes it’s better that way.
But I’m not giving up on this story yet. There are some very good specific suggestions in the criticism. I’m going to do my best with them and see what the results are. If my heroine still comes across as weak and confused, then it may well be a concept problem.
I’m also going to sit down and do some solid non-writing work. Go through and check every scene to make sure I’ve got good hooks and make sure everything is noted and all the set-ups have been followed through. Especially since I’ll be including some new set-ups.
Wish me luck.