I just finished a critique group of mine (I'm in two … if you only count critique groups and not accountability groups.)
Sometimes you come out of them feeling great about your stories, other times you come out of them feeling like you're worthless, can't write for shit, and should give up altogether.
The feedback I got could have been like the latter, but I felt positive. Basically, the latest Korrigan story I gave over wasn't clear on it's setting, and because of that a number of things weren't understood. On top of that, the nature of these stories, a day or two glimpse into the life of a dwarf, each spaced about ten year apart by it's very nature means there isn't a lot of connection between the stories.
Both of those things combined and gave my readers some headaches. One I can totally fix, the other … I'll have to ponder. Maybe when I do the omnibus edition of the Korrigan Chronicles will I have time to go back over each story and make sure that the larger life story of Korrigan is told. the story I submitted today was a 2-hour sliver of life since we last saw him nearly a decade before, and the next one, which I already handed off to alpha readers, takes place 12 years later. By their very nature it's hard to keep through-lines consistent, specially in such a small story.
I try to maintain a hint of what has transpired between each story, but sometimes I fail, and that's why critique groups are so important. I need a fresh set of eyes to tell me when I'm not on track, or my inside joke is a little too inside.
I will apologize right now, there will be a lot missing from his life, but the purpose of the series wasn't to give every detail of his life, it was to show key moments in his development and maturation. We'll get to the full backstory later, I promise.
Anyway, enough chat, time for sleep. Tomorrow, I write, and fix the story!