I’m attending my first official critique group today and I’m nervous. I’ve never understood why people love their critique groups so much—they can’t wait to get to the next one! Perhaps I’ll find out today what the big deal is.
In the meantime, I’ll “go all out” and extend critique day in this blog. I’ve been struggling with a few plot points, so I’ll ask my blogging audience about them too. Keep in mind that the targeted audience is young adults.
1) I have a pug dog in my story and at one point she is left in the care of a boy who has blossomed because of her. Is this a cop out? Should I instead have allowed the dog to go on a dangerous trip into the wilds of Papua New Guinea with the two main characters? It certainly could have made for additional conflict, for no one wants to see a dog endangered. (I think I just talked myself into taking her.)
2) Should the bad guy die … or not? Is redemption or revenge more what young adults like to read about now a days?
3) How can I make the cannibal characters—they are a tribe in PNG—sympathetic yet terrifying? External descriptions certainly help, but does anyone have any ideas on how to make a scary-looking, primitive tribesman act three dimensional and a bit sympathetic? I could show him with his child, but is that concept too clichéd?
4) Should someone nice die? It would be very easy to kill one off, since there are three “good” people, in addition to the main characters, trapped by the cannibals. I can kill off the bad guy here, but is that too boring an ending? I get the feeling that most teenagers today don’t appreciate happy endings the way I used to when I was one.
5) Any ideas on how to—believably—allow a guy to dive into crocodile infested waters and NOT get bitten/eaten?
Wish me luck!!
Lucy Balch, author of Love Trumps Logic
Available through Amazon.com and Second Wind Publishing