experience or not. First of all, the five of us belonged to the same RWA
chapter and so we were able to meet in person. That certainly adds a different
level to the interactions. Let’s face it, what you might write to a person you’ve
never met just isn’t as easy to say in front of them especially when others are
when it comes to their work. We’re all possessive to a certain extent. Some of
us more so! Truthfully, some get downright huffy if a point is made they don’t
agree with. So it’s the old tippy-toeing to try and mention a mistake or weakness while the
idea of giving your honest opinion goes out the window.
writers, it’s not easy telling someone you like, that the way they wrote a
certain passage could be done a lot better. (In your opinion!) Or that they’ve
used way too many words on something that didn’t warrant them. (In your
opinion!) How about when it’s the pacing that’s bad, POV hopping, uninteresting
characters, not enough emotion, or maybe the whole dang chapter should just be obliterated.
swallowing your fear and let concern for their work take over. Maybe point out
Our group didn’t last too long. The lunches were
lovely. The sharing of information very helpful. Brainstorming new plots was a high point of the
time we spent together. But enjoying the critique part – for me – not so much!
The lesson I came away with – my editors could say
the same things to me in a much more down-to-earth manner and I would totally accept
that they knew better than I did. So… from now on it’s between me and them.
author who takes days to get over feeling horrible after being with her critique
partners. She began questioning her talents, wondering if she should rewrite
her work because of their amateur sentiments. Now, is that right? Does that
help any author particularly one who’s unpublished?
On the other hand, there are many of my colleagues who love their partners, depend on their critiques to make their work shine and happily give up their time to read and correct each other’s writing. If you are one of these lucky ones, please tell us how you’ve managed it.