I’m back in the saddle again. Not literally, unfortunately—a blind horse and a recent knee replacement preclude that. But I am back writing. After a crazy year that included two surgeries and a major move, I’m starting to get my mojo back. Last weekend I printed out the existing twelve chapters of my current book and started working on them again. I also mentioned at my local RWA (Romance Writers of America) meeting that I was looking for a critique group.
Two women responded and we’ve already exchanged first chapters. It looks like we’ll be a good fit, so I’m stoked. Hopefully, we can add a couple more people and establish a nice support group. For the moment we’re working online because one is going to be out of town for a while. When she gets back we’ll try to meet in person. That always seems more fun.
While I wait with bated breath worried that they’ll hate it, I find a good critique group or partner to be extremely valuable. I need their feedback to show me where I’ve left out an important piece of information, created a huge plot clank, or, sometimes, gotten just right. (They love it!) And I learn so much critiquing others’ work. I can try to emulate how one crafts vivid descriptions or another intricate plots and a third uses humor. I can’t imagine trying to write successfully without this kind of support. I suppose those who have a dozen books under their belt may not need as much criticism, but I’m certainly not at that stage yet.
This made me think about other artists and how they create. Do they set up formal critiques to evaluate their work? A friend who is a painter belongs to a group that meets regularly to paint together. At the beginning, they may put up what they’re working on and get comments from the others. Then they go off to work on their own for a couple of hours. Seems like a good way to do things.
I doubt that format would work for sculptors or potters because their creations aren’t particularly portable. How do they get feedback on their work? Invite people over to view their projects on a bi-weekly basis?
What about composers? If they’re writing for an orchestra or band, how do they demonstrate all the parts? (Though it probably is a lot easier today with the computer synthesizers.)
How about you? Do you have a support/critique group or do you create totally on your own? If you’re involved with something other than writing, how do you get feedback on your efforts? Do you love or hate critique?
Critique group: photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/8411599@N05/8464899866">Paneldiscusison on robots</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">(license)</a> Painter: photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/32029534@N00/26641540290">her legacy as an artist, scott richard</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/">(license)</a>
Healing is her life. Will it be her death?
Two dead bodies. One dirty cop.
Is she next?
Images – A Love Story
She’s learned to hide from life.
Should she hide from him?