At the monthly meeting of the local writers' association last week, we broke into groups of ten to twelve and each group did a critique on three pages of whatever each person brought to share. The groups included a mixture of writing experience and genres so, not surprisingly, the critiques covered a wide range of comments and suggestions.
Listening to what everyone had to say, and tossing in my own critiquing experiences, I came up with five basic truths about critiques.
1- A critique is not always correct. Just because a critique suggests something needs to be changed/deleted/strengthened/etc. doesn't mean it does.
2 - Sometimes a critique is correct. And it may give you the insight you've been searching for (yea!) or it may leave you pounding your head against your desk.
3 - Genre makes a difference. Good writing is good writing but there are conventions and practices that vary from genre to genre. It can be difficult for a romance writer to critique a hard core sci fi or for the sci fi writer to critique a cozy mystery.
4 - Most critique partners or group members have individual strengths and weaknesses. One may be great on dialogue, another can spot a punctuation error a mile away. It helps to know who's good at what.
5 - In the end, it's still your story. Critiques can be enormously helpful in making your story as good as it can be, but it's up to you to decide how, where, and when to use the suggestions of others. It's got to be right for you.
What do you think? Do you agree with these? Care to offer your own "truth" about critiques?
This picture has absolutely nothing to do with today's post but it's been so blasted hot lately, I thought it might make everyone feel a little cooler. I took this after an ice storm last February.
Did it help?
Thoughts for Today:
How much deeper would the ocean be without sponges?
When the chips are down, the buffalo is empty.
Everyone has a photographic memory. Some people don't have film.