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Another Rewrite

Recently, I joined a critique group that is a little more experienced–okay, a lot more experienced–then the critique groups I’ve been in before. This past month was my turn, and I was so excited to receive their feedback. Boy, was I in for a surprise! (No, really it was okay.)

I started writing Dividing Spirits approximately 2 years ago. It took me a little longer to write than I planned due to a rough pregnancy and an overseas move, but at last it was done. I had a handful of “beta readers” go over it and got some great responses and a few minor issues that were easily fixed.

In September, I went to the American Christian Ficiton Writer’s conference in St. Louis, (I had a great time!) where I pitched the novel to a couple of agents and an editor. Again, I got some favorable responses–two requests for fulls. I immediately did a last read through and then sent Dividing Spirits out. A couple of weeks later, I got my first response.

A rejection.

*gasp*

Now, she was nice enough in the rejection, and in fact, didn’t say it sucked. She informed me that the story was too “black and white” for her tastes, and that stories like mine needed more “gray area”. Okay, I could see where she was coming from.

And then…

I got my responses back from my critique group.

I won’t go into details, but I will say this: I love my new critique group, and I am now in for one crazy rewrite.

I had no clue what I was missing with my other critique groups–but these ladies are phenomenal!

All of this to say TWO things:

1. Just when you think you’re done, well, you might not be.

2. When you reach the point of seeking out a critique group, make sure they are people who will challenge you, people who will not let you get away with anything–lazy writing, poor research, whatever the case may be.

Since I’ve received the most recent feedback, I’ve been praying and replotting Dividing Spirits. It’s in for a major rewrite which will resemble the original in very few ways…except for how it ends–maybe. I must say, though the feedback kind of shocked me in many ways, it also inspired me as to how I can improve my story in more ways then I could imagine.

Yeah, Dividing Spirits is a good story, it’s a good read that many have enjoyed, but you know what? Now, it’s going to be great! And great is what the publishing world is looking for.

About Ralene Burke

Whether she’s wielding a fantasy writer’s pen, a freelance editor’s sword, or a social media wand, Ralene Burke always has her head in some dreamer’s world. And her goal is to make it SHINE! She has worked for a variety of groups, including Realm Makers, The Christian PEN, Kentucky Christian Writers Conference, and as an editor for a number of freelance clients. Her first novel, Bellanok, is being published as a 4-part serial! When her head’s not in the publishing world, she is wife to a veteran and homeschooling mama to their three kids. Her Pinterest board would have you believe she is a master chef, excellent seamstress, and all around crafty diva. If she only had the time . . .

10 comments on “Another Rewrite

  1. I’m so happy for you. Just recently, I think I found my perfect critique partner. Hopefully the swapping back of our MSs (and comments) goes well. I’ve also had a rough time finding a group of people to give their reviews and feedback on.

    As I’m realising with my new partner, there ARE people out there who give me sooo much time — more than I ever thought I deserved.

    Good luck with your novel and I’ll be looking at it if it gets published! 🙂

  2. I can’t say enough good things about the great critique group I participated in, in Colorado Springs. I’ve really regretted not being able to hook up with another group since I moved to Nebraska.

    I’m glad you’re getting such good advice.

    • Have you tried an online group? That’s what this is. I haven’t been able to connect with any writers face-to-face out here in Hawaii.

  3. Good critters -those who challenge and encourage- are hard to find. Glad you’ve found some.

  4. Great is what the world needs.

    Do it!

  5. Rewriting is where we go from good to great and great to excellent. I’m so glad you found a challenging critique group. Is it an ACFW group, or another?

    • It is technically a ACFW group–Ren is in it with me, too! I like it especially because they are all Christian spec fic writers, which is one of the big things I missed with other groups/partners.

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