Storyteller’s Howl: Much Ado About Critique Groups

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

I’m an artist – as such, I have a certain amount of artistic pride. It’s very difficult for me to accept criticisms of my work – both in the visual arts and the written word. This is probably the reason that I’ve spent most of my writing life just either posting on FF.Net and similar sites (where readers don’t usually critique anything technical – just the story itself, and I’ve never really had a bad experience), and to showing my writing to the people least likely to take me to task for mistakes – my loved ones.

However, with the completion of my 2009 NaNoWriMo project, I ended up with a project I’m incredibly proud of, and one that I want to try and get published. As a result, I’m taking things to the next level.


At Lona’s mother’s insistence, I have joined a weekly writer’s critique group, for which I am bringing one chapter of To The Third Power every week. This last Saturday was my first week, and it went over VERY well. There were a lot of compliments – and quite a few critiques as well. But it was OK – I handled it fairly well, I thought. Now I’m trying to work through the commentary I have on my work and figure out what I’m changing and what I’m not. It is very obvious that the novel was written for word length – there’re quite a few extra words sprinkled throughout.

I’m also fighting a struggle against passive voice, which I’m really only now beginning to understand. Hopefully I can do better in the future.

In the mean time, I’m definitely going to keep attending the critique group. By the time I finish bringing the book in, hopefully I’ll have it ready to create a proposal and start submitting to agents. Here’s hoping, at the very least.

In other news, I had a nice holiday. I hope you all did, too!

[image credits: Muffet, TheCreativePenn]