Wednesday, 5 May 2021

IWSG May 2021

It's the first Wednesday of the month, which of course means it's time for our monthly meeting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group. Hosted as ever by Ninja Cap'n Alex J. Cavanaugh, the aim of the group is to offer a safe space where writers can share fears and insecurities without being judged. Join us if you haven't already! Today's co-hosts are Erika BeebePJ ColandoTonja DreckerSadira Stone and Cathrina Constantine.

This month's optimal IWSG question is: Has any of your readers ever responded to your writing in a way that you didn't expect? If so, did it surprise you?

I was going to bypass this month's question because I couldn't immediately think of any particularly off-the-wall responses, but then I thought of a way to tie it in to a monthly update that is also kind of an insecurity. A good insecurity, if that makes sense. I've had my latest WIP out with a couple of CPs and a common thread in their responses is that the story seems unfinished, with a few questions left to resolve. I didn't necessarily expect that, but when I thought about it it kind of made sense. My protagonist had gone on a big emotional rollercoaster towards the end, and I suppose I was rushing a bit so she could reach some resolution and calm, but it's likely more of a rest stop than a full resolution, with the threat in the book still potentially out there in some form. So, there's an insecurity in that I'll probably need to extend what I thought was finished, but it's a good insecurity because it's a chance to properly resolve the story, and because at least my readers were engaged enough to want to know more!

How would you answer this question? You can check out many more posts and responses at the IWSG sign-up page here.

23 comments:

Sarah Foster said...

It’s tough to realize that something you thought was finished needs more work, but the story will be better for it. Good luck figuring it out!

Annalisa Crawford said...

Endings are tricky for me - I usually get comments about them needing more. I suspect it's because my formative years were spent in short stories, and you can end them mid-way through a sentence if you wanted! (Well, maybe not, although I did experiment once.)

Natalie Aguirre said...

You're right. It is a good insecurity, because hopefully you can fix the problem. My critique partners make lots of helpful comments that make me realize questions I need to be sure to answer in my writing.

Jemi Fraser said...

That IS a good insecurity! Enjoy exploring more in that world with that character!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's what critique partners are for - spotting that stuff we can't see so our story will be stronger.
I couldn't think of a response to this month's question but in reading all of the answers, now I have one.

Rachna Chhabria said...

Looks like your critique partners were able to nail the problem in your manuscript, now you just have to fix it, Nick.

Sadira Stone said...

Your post ties into mine today--lucky coincidence! I posted about my hatred of cliffhanger endings. Sounds like your readers on this piece wanted more conclusion of that storyline, even if the over-arching Big Bad plot wasn't solved yet. Good on you for your willingness to give them the satisfying ending they crave.
I wish you happy writing in May.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Better your critique partners find it than actual readers, right?

Patricia Josephine aka Patricia Lynne said...

You know the problem so now you can get it figured out. Good luck.

Helen said...

It was great you got that feedback. Sometimes we are so wrapped in our writing we don't see or feel a lack in our writing.

Victoria Marie Lees said...

I like stories that have closure, that solve the internal or external problem. That being said, there are many literary stories that don't have a concrete closure to the story. I think many readers need to feel the story has come full circle. All the luck with your work in progress, Nick.

Liz A. said...

Sequel! Or maybe the start of a series... Definitely a good problem to have.

Lee Lowery said...

"the threat in the book is still potentially out there . . ." Is this possibly a multi-book threat? That's totally doable.

Oddly, no one is really surprised by my macabre stories. It's sort of like, yup, that's Lee. Rotting corpses and people in Hell. Now I'm doing historical mystery - we'll see if there are any surprises there.

Liza said...

It's good to have critique partners that challenge you to do better. I find I my story always better after they give me a direct talking to!

S.A. Larsenッ said...

CPs are such a blessing, aren't they? I mean, even if that means you have to do more work on your project. They always help us become better. I understand the insecurity, though.

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

CPs are great for showing us what we might've missed. Have fun with extending the book. :)

Mary Aalgaard said...

It sounds like you had good, thoughtful Beta readers, asking the right questions. Now, you know what to do to provide a more satisfying ending. Write on!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Nick - I hate 'weak' endings ... so it seems they've come to the same conclusion and you've picked up on that - well done ... good luck with finishing it now - all the best Hilary

Tanya Miranda said...

Nothing worse than an unfinished story. I had a close friend ask me “So how does it end?” after she read a draft of my fist romance novel. I was perplexed. But soon after she asked me, the ending popped into my head. It’s like I just needed to be told it was unfinished just so I can finish it.

Anne Higa said...

That is an encouraging response. I love how you take it and feel that's true. It means that your readers want more. Have a great May!

Anne from annehiga.com

Lori said...

Seems like a great situation- good feedback and you're already thinking of a way to use it to make your story even better! Good luck with the edits.

Deniz Bevan said...

That sounds promising! Always good when readers want to know more :-)

Neurotic Workaholic said...

It's good that you're open to constructive criticism. There are some people who are not and get really upset about it, but sometimes constructive criticism is necessary, as long as it's not too brutally honest.