Tuesday, February 7, 2012

WHY TALKING IT OVER IS A GOOD THING - OR WHY CRITIC GROUPS WORK

I’m working on a new book! Nothing new there. At first it wasn’t working, so in the middle of the night (not unusual for me) I figured out what was wrong and spent a couple of days making corrections. I really wasn’t completely satisfied with my ideas, so I talked it over with my husband, who reads everything I write, makes corrections, and criticizes those sections he doesn’t think work well. I spent an hour last night talking about my new work and what I planned.

As usual, he thought about it for a second or two and then said, “Doesn’t sound like much of a romance to me.”

“Okay,” I spouted, incensed. "What's wrong with it?" After all, I’d lost a lot of sleep over this idea.

He thought for another moment then commented,”Romances shouldn't begin with that kind of violence. Why don’t you…”

We spent the next half hour discussing why his idea wouldn’t work well with the theme of the book. But from those comments, both his and mine another idea developed. There’s a little bit of violence, but not of the heroine’s making which is what my husband objected to. It does play well into the theme of the book and makes the beginning even more realistic.

Not only that, but it does work now as a romance.

The whole point to all of this is sometimes another opinion is warranted. When in doubt, which I was, ask a writing friend, a critic partner, or someone you trust to give you an honest appraisal. I did that. I live with my critic partner. No, he doesn’t do any opf the writing, but he’s proved to be ‘right on’ with his criticisms. And yes I do know how lucky I am.

3 comments:

Big Mike said...

I have a hit squad made of four people with diverse background and genders. The "gender" part is important because man and woman do take things differently, like things differently, etc. Its why I use both guys and girls, when ever I can.

Michael Davis (Davisstories.com)
Author of the year (2008 and 2009)

Julie Eberhart Painter said...

I belong to an evenly gender represented critique group. When I veer from the path, they will pull me back.

When I write alone, I can hear them warning me. It saves a lot of rewriting.

Stepehn King recommends an "ideal reader" for each writer. My group is pretty savvy.

Rita Bay said...

Honest critique is an important component of the writing process. I'm more of a line edits reader. Hate it, though, when I spend hours on someone else's WIP and get an "It's fine." back on mine. RB