I'm on a writing roll, churning out pages. Wish it would continue. I think I'm producing because I haven't worried about submitting to my critique partners. I'm just writing. At some point they'll be hollering for pages and scheduling meetings, and then I'll have to stop, clean up a chapter and get it to them.
A writer acquaintance sends all her rough pages to her crit group, they clean it up, red-pen where she should develop, flesh out, layer, cut ... she follows their advice then sends it on to her editor. Yes, she's published--over and over and over again. I guess I have too much pride to send my rough stuff to my crit partners. Unfortunately, when I get my chapter back--all marked up--I realize it was rough. Glad I didn't know that beforehand. :-D
Crit groups are scary. They have the power to build up or completely destroy.
I've been in several groups through the years, some better than others. But really, I have no idea if any of them are good.
I'm taking another month-long, online class. This one is called Empowering Characters' Emotions taught by Margie Lawson. The first lecture alone was worth my $25.00. However, one of Margie's examples, She arched a well-plucked brow is a sentence I actually used in my wip, and it was cut by one of my crit partners. I'm not sure why--something about POV and how does she know her brow is well-plucked?Realistically, we could say she knows because she paid for that well-plucked brow. :))
It's so important to go with our gut when it comes to our own writing. We know what we want to say; we know what picture we're trying to paint. We have to develop our own style and our own voice.
James N. Frey stated in his How To Write A Damn Good Novel II that "The drop-out rate in a hard-nosed creative writing workshop is often 70 or 80 percent." I'd be one of the drop-outs. Give me a small intimate critique group--not 30 people staring at me and ripping my story to shreds.
And yes, I do agree that critiques are probably the best way to learn and we're in crit groups because we choose to be there; we shouldn't complain.
One of my favorite writing books is Make Every Word Count by Gary Provost. He stated: "Writing works best when you hypnotize the reader quickly and hold him spellbound until you're through with him."
That's exactly what I'd like to do with my critique group.