Saturday, May 21, 2016

a word of praise, a nod of approval

This week a member of my critique group asked me to reflect on my experience with the group...specifically, what I think I've learned from my fellow writers. I've posted before about how much I appreciate my fellow writers, and how important it is for a beginner to have a good critique group.

So, here are five things I've learned from my critique partners in addition to correct grammar, spelling and punctuation:
  • I've learned that it's a lot easier for me to edit some else's work than it is to pick up on my own mistakes (passive verbs, extraneous adjectives and adverbs, pacing, etc., etc., etc.)
The entire process has improved my self-editing skills.
  • We meet once a month. Polishing up a couple of pages in time to make that deadline has helped me forge ahead with my novel. Without it, I would probably never have finished a line of revision or moved ahead to the next scene.
  • You can't please everyone.  What one person likes, another deletes. What one person thinks you should keep, another thinks is needless. I've learned to make the final decision based on what I want to get across to the reader. What is true for me.
  • In their early drafts, even some of the already-published authors among us struggle with the same issues I do as a beginner (scene setting, characterization, plot points, etc., etc., etc.).

 I've learned to trust the process. The finished-product may scarcely resemble the first draft.
  • I've learned that a word of praise or a nod of approval can do more to motivate a writer than all the advice in the world... matter who it comes from :)

A big round of applause and gratitude goes out to all my critique partners! Thank you!

" We do not mind our not arriving anywhere
nearly so much
as our not having company on the way."

--Frank Moore Colby--
This weekend I'm missing the annual Pennwriters' Conference in Lancaster, less than an hour from where I live. This means I have to miss some terrific workshops, but mostly I miss seeing the friends I only get to see once a year. Miss you guys. Maybe next time...

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