After two weeks and three critiques, I’m pulling the plug on keeping the first chapter of my novel up there. It’s gotten ridiculous.
When the critter opens with telling me that since I was involving telepaths AND plasma rifles that I should be in “fantasy” and not “sci-fi” I have to wonder where the hell they’re coming from. When they start saying they don’t understand who’s who because I’m ambiguous with pronouns, like I get that. I can fix that.
But by the third paragraph and I’ve used the phrase “mag-engine” and “mag-car” and they put in their notes: “mag-engine??! mag-car?! I don’t know what these things are.”
…I start to wonder why they’re even bothering writing a fucking critique. It’s like opening Harry Potter and getting into it before going “I don’t understand how they can make things fly.” Everything after that is a blur as it was full of things like why I shouldn’t write in ALL CAPS for emphasis and I was using ellipses wrong and some other shit and, yeah, I’ll be honest, I stopped reading.
So I pulled the plug on the critique thing if all it’s going to do is attract knobends that open with how important it is to tell me that they don’t understand something. I guess I wrongly assumed that a thriller novel, whose synopsis specifically mentions being in a dystopian future, wouldn’t need to start explaining a heap of shit.
I mean, I’ve written thousands of words about mag-engines and plasma rifles and how all that shit works. I don’t put it in there because it’s not important to the story. I already shoved entirely too much backstory and flashback into the opening chapter.
If I start explaining in detail every reference that the reader obviously wouldn’t know about then I’ll end up writing nothing but. Sure, back in the diddly like in the 60’s and shit, I could sit around with Heinlein and Hubbard and make bets on who could start a horrific religion and go on for chapters about how a mag-engine works (because I damn well know by now, don’t I?) but if you don’t trust your reader to have an imagination, if you have to explain every fucking detail including cousins that never appear in the story ever again, then I’ll lose the reader, every time.
Just ’cause one guy got away with that, again back in the diddly, and even got to wank his way into making one book into three separate books, doesn’t mean that’s how it needs to work now.
Anyway, I digress. I’ve got a couple of readers that are working with me through the first chapter and I really hope they stick with me, as I feel like the book finds its legs not long after it gets going. And what I really need to know from Beta Readers and Critters is if it’s a good enough book to work into something publishable.
Instead I’m being told that they don’t know what a “mag-car” is. Well of course you don’t. I do. And you’re just going to have to trust me to write down shit that’s important to the story and not go on about shit you’re not going to care about at the end.
So I’m bagging it on the critting, for now anyway. I’ll keep trying to get Beta Readers to read the damn book and hopefully try and figure it out from there.
Wish me luck.