Last week I submitted the latest chapter of my story to my crit group, and while the response was positive (several members said it was my best chapter yet), one of the members expressed concern that even though there were some bits of action near the end, not enough had occurred that pushed the story forward.
In one sense, I have to agree with her. This chapter was meant to be more of a sequel, a time for the character to regroup after the excitement of the previous chapters. A chance for her to learn both about the trouble she’s in and about the new character she’d just found herself partnered with. There’s some action at the end, while she’s trying to escape the bad guys and make it to the bus station, but my CP didn’t think that this wasn’t enough to justify the chapter.
Which leaves me with a dilemma. Do I listen to her and get rid of some of the non-actiony stuff, or do I go with what my gut tells me: that the reader needs (and wants) me to spend some time establishing the relationship between the MC and her paranormal partner before the next wave of action engulfs them. I mean, isn't that pushing the story forward too?
Some of you may suggest the old adage that I should always go with my gut. Unfortunately, my gut has led to plenty of “too much dialogue, not enough action” comments peppering my critiques over the past year, so I know I still don’t have a good feel for the proper proportions. So what's a writer to do?
I guess I’ll just have to wait and see what my other crit group thinks when they get the chance to read the chapter.
Isn’t procrastination wonderful?
P.S. How do you decide who to believe?