Friday, May 7, 2010

Keeping you humble

There's nothing like good friends to keep you humble. Especially in the form of a critique group. We had a new gal come last night who is actually a good friend to three of us. She teaches English at the jr. high and really wants to write but is SO afraid.

Since we love and adore her, we are taking her under our wings to nurture a talent she has but has been too afraid to share.

Since the world revolves around my life we'll get on to me! I have this great story I'm working on and I love it. I think it's fabulous. I think it's a hit. My group thinks it has great potential. Now don't come down too hard on them. After listening to their 'constructive criticisms,' I highly agree with everything they said. I found myself soaking in their ideas and saying, "Yeah, I get that. You're right there," and so on.

The point here is this. We love our babies and most of the time they are halfway decent, but to grow in this business, to get better and sell that story, we have to have thick enough skin to hear that our baby has problems. Maybe a bald spot, or a flat head. You know what I mean.

Yeah, we all want to hear we are brilliant, but even Stephen King has an editor. We need those around us who know to tell us the truth. There's no point in having people tell you your story is great if it isn't. It wastes your time and theirs.

So, this new gal in our critique group is afraid for us to read her work. She doesn't want to hear that it's awful and truth be told, it probably isn't, but it's a given that it will need work. EVERY first draft needs work. (and second and third, he he)

You see, when an author writes, we see a picture in our head and we assume that everyone else can see it too. They can't. I promise. So here's where my smart friends on Thursday nights come in. They show me the holes. They tell me where it's weak, they point out the inconsistencies that honestly, I didn't see. After they mention those little spots, they blare in neon colors at me, but before that, I'm blind.

Take advantage or your group and if you don't have one, get one. They not only help your talent grow, they become your closest friends.

I LOVE YOU GUYS! You know who you are!


Old Kitty said...

Awwww your shy friend can't ask for better writing buddies than you guys! It looks like you are all there for each other and trust each other enough to be honest and helpful and supportive!

I hope your friend will soon see that you are a geat bunch offering a safe haven for her enough for her to feel comfortable so she could show off her writing baby to you all!

Take care


Aubrie said...

Taking music lessons helped me a lot with being critiqued. Every week your teacher tells you how to be better, and it's the same with critique groups. I hope she gets more used to it. Sounds like you guys are really nice and perfect for her to show her work to.

Melissa J. Cunningham said...

She was a little nervous at how we just jumped right in. Of course, we give a lot of praise too, but we are pretty direct in our critiques which I really like. It makes it move faster.

M. Gray said...

Your writing group sounds great. Wish I could come.

elizabeth mueller said...

I'm so glad you got a new crit partner for your group! Awesome! ;)

Angie Paxton said...

That's great that you guys are welcoming in a newbie. I think a good crit group makes the difference between a good book and great one. I tagged you in a blogger game on my blog if you're interested and have time to participate.

Lyn said...

If she is writing that is the first step.

Constructive criticism is a gift. It doesn't have to be given and it is not given maliciously, it is given to help make a thing better, whether that thing is an outfit or a story. It is hard to take sometimes, whether good or bad.

Personally, someone can tell me my story is great and I will cry and if they tell me it is rotten I will cry. My tear ducts runneth over regardless.

Adeeva Afsheen said...

Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)

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