SCBWI Western Washington. I look forward to it every year, and this year did not disappoint. Everybody broke into groups depending on the genre of their writing or illustrating. My group leader was middle grade author Trudi Trueit (pictured on left). There were 3 other ladies in my group and we each took turns reading the first 5 pages of our manuscripts to each other. After Trudi offered up her critique, we all joined in with various bits of advice.
I brought with me the first pages of The Ruby Pendant, book 2 in the Cleopatra's Legacy series. I loved the advice I received. I've been working hard getting my MS ready to present to my editor, and this critique was one of my last steps. It's always amazing that no matter how tight you think you've made your story, other minds can add more insight. As soon as I'm done with this blog, I'm heading straight to work on corrections.
I wanted to share with everyone 6 points for a strong book that Trudi gave us.
1. Have a strong and unique hook.
2. Have an amazing opening chapter.
3. Give your character a distinctive voice.
4. Have memorable characters.
5. Have an engaging plot.
6. Never be boring or predictable.
Trudi told us that if we have the above 6 points covered, "then no matter what you write, you will be successful at it."
Kudos to SCBWI WWA!