Monday, April 2, 2007

No Whining Allowed ... out loud.

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.

No comments: