I got the first few critiques back from my group last night on the steampunk story I finished recently. You know, the one that didn’t stop until it crept over the 10,000 word mark? It actually stopped at 10,200 if we want to be exact.

They were amazingly kind. Everyone had great things to say about it. Even the readers who aren’t fans of genre fiction or didn’t know what steampunk was when they started, seemed to enjoy it. That’s the good news.

My main instruction to them was to find somewhere to chop it down to size, since most markets don’t accept stories of that length. Usually, 7 or 8k is pushing their limits. None of the readers could find any big chunks to slice out, though they did find a number of smaller things that could be exorcised which would bring the total word count down under 10k. That’s good, but still a hard sell.

A couple of readers suggested in their comments that they wanted more, not less. That I should flesh out some sections and then continue on from where the story currently stops. That’s awesome that they feel that way and I have some ideas where the story would go, but with the current book halfway done, I don’t want do stop working on it. On the other hand, I’m enjoying the steampunk story so much, I’d hate to lose momentum on it.

I was kind of hoping they’d all agree that the middle ten pages would need cut completely and spare me any actual effort on my part.

Errr. Effort.

I’ve said it before. Writing is, like, hard and stuff.