I met with the critique group this past Monday and they did not fail in being their usual incisive, helpful, encouraging selves. As I had mentioned here earlier, I was concerned about the length. The word count makes for a rawboned novel and I wondered what could be done to beef it up.
They were not short of ideas.
Fundamentally, the reason the book was thin, was because I withheld too much from the reader. Essentially, in my attempt to avoid slowing the pace, I got into the opposite predicament. The novel read too fast, leaving the reader confused and perhaps unsatisfied.
They assured me that slowing down and taking the time to bring some important background information forward, would enhance the reading, not diminish it.
Particularly the supernatural elements. Though I have real settings (present-day Paris and Philadelphia), one in the group pointed out that I was still building my own world. Thus it was important to write more on its rules than I already have. They know this was a vampire novel that included both familiar tropes of the genre as well as new ones. Those need more detail.
Far from discouraged, I look forward to revising this draft. I hope to complete it by Oct 1.