03 March 2012

Is Your Critique Group Killing Your Story?

Since I’ve found a local writing group where I can share my work with other passionate writers, editors and published authors, I’ve grown to understand the process of sharing and critiquing. For one, it’s not that bad to hear someone say, “I don’t know; this one I didn’t like.” That first time you hear that, it’s like the clouds open up and the light bulb comes on.

We’re not supposed to like everything we read or even every style we come across. It’s why we have different genres, right? But, you should never lose sight of your story, because in the end, it is YOUR story and you must take ownership of that story, whether it spreads like wild fire in the e-publishing world, or belly flops off the desk of a slush pile reader.

If you’re in a critique group where they’ve introduced a new writer, just beware of the elements you will face when critiqued by the newbie. Everyone wants to know what the new guy thinks, how he operates, and most importantly, who will side with him. Will he attempt to sabotage your story and turn the others against you? Will you cave to his suggestions and turn your work into a semblance of something written by your 30 year old self? Or will you simply say, “Thank you for your feedback. I do appreciate your time in reading my work.” And then you mutter something under your breath like, “fucking moron.”

Either way, critique groups are great and I absolutely love mine. I’m just happy that they accepted my application and invited me into their inner circle. And, just so you know, it wasn’t my critique group that inspired this post, nor the fact that we have a new member starting this month. I chose to share this because of a video a Facebook friend posted. It’s funny how involvement with gaming in RPGs (Role Playing Games) creeps its way into my writing on so many levels.

Enjoy the video. If you’re a gamer, I think you will find it hilarious. If you’re a writer, you will understand the frustration of the Dungeon Master!

Sorry, the video will be missed!

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