"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us." —J. R. R. Tolkien

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Critique Group

I've joined an online critique group. In the past, I've played around with this idea, so given a chance, I leaped. And so far, the results have way surpassed my expectations.

1) I never have to leave my house. No leaving my kids at bedtime to meet at the bookstore.
2) No worrying about running over, or not having enough time spent on my work.
3) We have ten members, all writing MG or YA novels. The critiques I've been reading on not only my work, but on every one's work are amazing. Everyone views things just a bit differently, and provides feedback as such.
4) With ten members, I'm learning how to be a better editor. This is one of my writing goals. Reading books on craft is great, but sometimes it takes someone pointing out a problem for me to say, "Duh! Why didn't I see that?"
5) Being online, the rules are set, and it's hard to stray. Two people submit each week. Critiques for the two submissions are due at the end of the week. I work well with structured systems like this.
6) I get to read 9 other books! And I'm finding myself looking forward to the next submission of each. This is great because many are not in genres I would normally choose.

The online thing may not work for some, but I think in some way, it provides for more honest critiquing. Accepting comments on your work can be hard sometimes. And sometimes an initial reaction is to defend every point made. What I'm working on it to digest (not defend) every bit. I don't have to agree with everything, but it is my responsibility to myself to look at every comment. Otherwise I'm wasting my time and every else's too. And with this methodology, what I've found is that I have a lot to learn.


Christine M said...

I think the critique group is a great thing too. I can't wait to read your next submission.

Jim D said...

And with gas around $3.50 a gallon and figuring crit group at 2omiles away..........
Online also facilitates working through my MS. three or four times faster even if you don't figure in cancelled meetings......

PJ Hoover said...

Yep! I envision great things in our futures!