I appreciate my critique partners in my writers group for all their encouragement and support for my writing projects. I would not be a published author without them.
We meet every week in the summer at a local coffee shop. We spread out on the biggest table we can find because there are four of us, eat sweets, and try the different coffees and beverages. Not only do we share our submissions, but also family news, work news, etc. And sprinkled throughout the meeting, are a lot of laughs and just pure joy.
One of our members was having trouble with stress headaches a couple of weeks ago. She reported to us that after the meeting her headache was gone!
The Golden Rule of Writers Groups: Treat fellow writers with respect and critique each submission as you would like your submissions treated. Be kind and gentle.
|Brainstorming is an essential part of the critique group's meeting.|
Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net by Stuart Miles
Our group meets to offer critiques of submissions we bring to share. I like the way we do the submissions. We just bring one copy of the chapter--double-spaced--and pass it around to the members. We have four or five in our group at each meeting. We save paper and ink by not making a copy for each member. Also, all comments and discovered typos are on one copy. So much easier to look through when editing when we get time to make the changes (or NOT make the changes. It's completely up to the author to choose how they want to use the feedback.)
***Other groups meet to share their writing but members don't offer critiques of the work unless the author asks for help.
I love my crit group for offering feedback in my story such as
- The mc begins eating her burrito but never ordered it from anyone.
- A joke or a scene doesn't work
- The character's name is Brian in previous chapters and Herb in the present submission. Of course, I have to laugh when they look up with questioning eyes--Who's Herb? (Last week I had missed a few chapters of one gal's story and was reading about Hank. I decided not to ask "who's Hank," so I kept reading. When I read "Hank trotted off with a saddle pack on his back," I laughed out loud. He was a horse, not a man!)
- The same information is repeated several times. Once is enough.
- The action is going too fast.
- The scene needs the mc's internal thoughts
I'm sure you've had similar experiences. And I bet you appreciate the constructive criticism as much as I do.
So what do I hate about a crit group? For instance, I submitted a chapter where the bad guy and his sister had to go to police headquarters. I had them together in the same room to give their statements. The give and take in the conversation was good, and the body language was fine. However, they informed me, this is not correct police procedure. The police would never allow them to be together to give a statement. Aaarghhhh. That's what I hate--I had to re-write the entire scene.
So I put on my big girl panties, thanked them for finding this flaw, and re-wrote the chapter in a different setting. To tell the truth, it turned out to be much improved over the first attempt.
Not only can a crit group help you in writing your story, push you to complete it, and submit it to a publisher, but the group can market their books together too. We have made presentations to local groups and shared opportunities to promote our books at different venues.
In this big world of publishing, it's good to know you have friends who will help you through the roller coaster ride of success and insecurity. Everyone needs someone to be a supporter to applaud your victories and be there for your rejections.
Do you belong to a critique group or have a critique partner? What has been your experience? Please leave a comment below.
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Fellow writers group memberJoselyn Vaughn just released her latest sweet romance, For the Love of Bigfoots and Butterflies. Congratulations, Joselyn!
For the Love of Bigfoots and Butterflies
by Joselyn Vaughn
|Sweet Romance--delightful and entertaining|