Love It or Hate It?

Kate 2Kate Wyland

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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.

critique group

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.

painter

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>
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Forewarning Cover

FOREWARNING
Healing is her life. Will it be her death?

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Wyoming Cover - 4x6 - #2.

Wyoming Escape
Two dead bodies. One dirty cop.
Is she next?

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Cover - Images - 2.

 Images – A Love Story
She’s learned to hide from life.
Should she hide from him?

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Connect with Kate Wyland:
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/AuthorKateWyland
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/katewyland
Website : http://katewyland.com

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25 Responses to Love It or Hate It?

  1. Wranglers says:

    I have belonged to a lot of different Critique Groups for a long time. I am not currently involved in any. I use to attend monthly Critique group for my Art Work, but I don’t do that anymore either, but I probably need to be in a Critique group, it helps to keep you on track. Nice blog and photos thanks, Cher’ley

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Kathy Waller says:

    My critique group keeps me going. In the eight years since I’ve been a member, both my writing and my attitude have improved.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Doris says:

    I fly solo when writing. The closest I have is the improv writing group once a week. Same when I compose. Having said that, I’ve friends who thrive in support groups. Doris

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve found critique groups to be most beneficial to me. Glad to hear you’re back in the saddle again. Now, that song will be going through my head for the rest of the night. Smile emoticon.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Mike Staton says:

    I’ve participated in the Henderson Writers Group, but not at the moment. It’s an interesting group of writers. A general Monday meeting twice a month, usually with a speaker and writers reading their works aloud for comment. Also a book review meeting and a writing prompt get-together, each once a month. Right now, though, I am using an online writers workshop to review my chapters… I find I am satisfied with four reviews. One of the reviewers I’ve been using for at least five years, maybe longer. He’s good at finding crummy sentences and paragraphs and making improvements suggestions — he really feels like a good copy editor to me.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I mostly fly solo, but I do belong to the same writer’s group as Neva, and we share and support one another, tut we only meet once a month so sometimes I need things turned around more quickly. I recently e-mailed a piece to my group and received feedback from a few of them. That was helpful because I needed to edit and get the story turned in. Whether via email or face-to-face, I appreciate the input from my fellow writers, especially when working in a new genre.

    Liked by 1 person

    • katewyland says:

      Given you’re in Wyoming, I suspect meeting in person is more difficult than in more populous places like CA. Isn’t wonderful how the internet connects us now?

      Like

  7. Nice post Kate. So glad you are returning to the writing you love. I did my best writing when I was in Mexico because we had such a great writing group. We don’t have one here and it really slows down my progress as I feel I have to read and re-read to be sure what I’ve written not only makes sense but all the other things you can get tripped up on. I’ve thought of trying to join an online writing group, but that’ll be in the fall, after I enjoy my precious summer!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Great post, Kate. I absolutely need a writer group and Travis and Stephen have helped me immensely over the years. I can’t imagine being where I’m at today without them. The right group is critical too. I tried one out years ago and they told me not to come back after the “trial” meeting. But I didn’t want to come back anyway so there! 🙂 It works wonderfully when all of you “get” each other and you each have your own strengths. I think meeting in person is also important as reading aloud makes a big difference to me. But when we can’t meet in person, email is a close second. Plus when I need something critiqued immediately, I know I can email them some pages and count on them to have a quick turnaround. So bravo to you, Kate, for your progress and initiative!

    Liked by 1 person

    • katewyland says:

      That’s great that you’ve got a good group to support you. It’s so important. I also encountered one that I didn’t mesh with and didn’t stay with. I love meeting in person because I learn from the other peoples’ comments. But reading aloud doesn’t work for me. I want to have a few days to read over and think before I critique. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this group works out.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Neva Bodin says:

    I have started using “Autocrit” to help critique my work and find it exceedingly helpful. It was recommended to me by an author at a writer’s conference. However, there is nothing like having a live audience also giving feedback. And as an artist, I appreciate the same thing. I painted with different groups over the years that not only inspired me but helped me grow in my art. Interesting to hear how you and everyone else handles it.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Nancy Jardine says:

    That’s excellent that you’re in writing mode again- Kate! Congratulations. I haven’t been part of a critique group but have used a professional editor as a beta reader for my self-pubbed teen time travel. I’ve also done beta reading for a few other authors but when I’ve been at that point in my manuscript, I’ve found that my author friends have been too busy to look mine over and I confess to being too impatient to wait. I change so much as I do my first edits that sharing a few chapters at a time seems pointless for me since I’m likely to change them a lot before a final draft. My ‘dump’ folders tend to be huge… 😉 Happy writing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • katewyland says:

      In my old group we’d share our early chapters then beta read the final drafts. It was always fascinating to see the difference. But as much as anything it was the support that was important. Had to get something out every two weeks. 😉

      Like

  11. Joe Stephens says:

    I would love to have one, but there isn’t even a writer’s group in my tiny little town other than a small group of poets.

    Like

  12. S J Brown says:

    I have had my work professionally critiqued, I find that nerve racking. As a photographer my critique group is generally the public when I do an exhibit. I find I tend to be my own worst critic. An image need to evoke emotion or relay a sense of the subject for me to consider it good. Since I am not a member of any photography groups I also rely on family and friends for opinions on my images.

    Like

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