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!