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I wanted to join a critique group, so I joined a critique group in March. We meet every other week. It’s a good sized group with seven regular attenders in the general fiction group, and six of us in the sci-fi group.

I thought, this is it, if I can prove my writing out here i’ll be good to go.

I’ve quickly learned that the group has valuable input and points out areas that need work. But, I don’t think I’ll ever satisfy all of them, and that is ok. They are not in the middle of the bell curve when it comes to readers. They are extreme readers. They’re writers. They know the rules, they have style preferences, etc.

Don’t get me wrong. I get great constructive criticism. But, I need to make sure to change essential “how” I write errors and make sure I don’t change the “why” I write, and to some degree, the “what” I write. I have to make sure I don’t become a politician-writer, where I’m just swayed by the opinions of others and have no real identity I can call my own.

It is a difficult balance that I have not yet learned.

But, I am getting back to writing, keeping their constructive criticism’s and guidance in mind, but not writing to please them.

What’s been your experience with critique groups?

Ty

Ugh. Chapter six was uncomfortable in a bad way. I know the MC is supposed to be left of center, but I’m not so sure about him right now. This is the way the story is supposed to go, but…

Anyway, on to chapter seven. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Crystal Castles have been great soundtracks to the writing today.Image

I need to leave the writing cave and get some fresh air. My writer’s group meets tomorrow. I’m hoping to finish off Chapter 7 before bed tonight, and 8 before I go to group. Ambition unwraps itself.

I hosted my writer’s group yesterday afternoon. We had food and got current with each other’s life journey. I read half of chapter one to the group, and got good reactions. They reacted with spontaneous laughter in the tense moments where I provided what I hoped would be comic relief. They flinched during other tense moments. They understood the scene, but not with the clarity I think I need. I was pleased. Their feedback was positive, and also highlighted areas where work is needed.  I will note those areas, but I am still leaving this draft alone for now. I think I can start admitting to other people that I am writing a book. I’ve told very few people.

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