Wednesday, May 19, 2010
What's your take?
What is your opinion on critique groups? I love mine, but do they help or hinder? I've heard both sides from many people.
I've recently submitted a new story I'm in the process of writing to my group. I can't decide if that was a good idea. I've heard many times to write the whole story. Get it all on paper before anyone sees it. Of course it will probably need TONS of revisions and work, but at least you got it all down. THEN show it to people.
What, if any, are the benefits of showing work that is still in the process of being written? Well, one thing is that your critique group will find places you need to clarify early on and things you can do to make your story better right from the start.
On the other hand, will their suggestions change your whole story line? There's a gal in my group who, since she's started coming has totally blossomed. Her writing and her critiquing is fantastic now. I'm amazed how much she's grown in such a short time, but her story, which started out with a certain tone and story line is totally different now. She has gone back over and over revising before she can even get to the ending. It is going to be amazing but would it have been better to write it all out first? I'm not sure.
Is she being true to her story idea by showing it to us so early on? Honestly, I can't decide. There's good and bad to both ways. What's your opinion? Some authors don't use critique groups at all, but I know my writing is way better because I do.
The book I sold to WiDo Publishing was never seen by my critique group. I wrote it before I joined a group and I only had a few people even read it. It was in raw form, but WiDo could see it's potential. In some ways, I'm glad it wasn't reviewed tons of times. Maybe it wouldn't be the same story if it had been. We'll never know.