Saturday, March 5, 2011

My Decision

There’s been an e-mail thread going around in the RWA Craft group about critique partners. Someone mentioned attending a writers group with very few romance writers, how she didn’t get adequate feedback, and felt uncomfortable sharing her work during her first draft.

It was kind of refreshing to read, to know it’s not just me.

She ended up quitting her group. But after reading the comments I received from my last post, and her e-mail, it got me to thinking. Maybe I’m looking at this group all wrong.

It’s not that I hate sharing my work. I just hate sharing work that isn’t ready. And it’s very hard to share a complete book when you only meet once a month (and you’re limited to three pages). Damn – that would just take, like, forever! And that’s not what the group is for anyway – that has been clear from the start.

But I can share short stories (whenever I get around to writing another), I can share good news, and I can critique work I’m interested in reading. I’ll stop feeling like a dummy when I read something I don’t get (i.e. Fantasy or Memoirs). I’ve got critique partners that will help me with my manuscript. I don’t need the group for that.

So I decided to stick with the group awhile longer. It certainly won’t hurt me, unless they all get wind of this blog and kick me out! *HINT* *HINT*

I thank everyone that read/listened and offered suggestions. It was really appreciated. Sometimes you just have to share your feelings or they’ll fester inside. I’m glad I was able to share here.

6 comments:

Erin Kane Spock said...

My critique partner and I email our stuff (and it's very rough sometimes) prior to our meeting to get a good feel for it/edit/comment/etc so that when we do meet, we can discuss it with thought (and without the pressure of the writer watching you read their stuff). I have not yet attended one of RWA's local chapter meetings and had a round table critique process.
Are you going to New York for the conference?

Stacy McKitrick said...

Hi Erin,
My local RWA chapter doesn't have any kind of critique process, but they do have interesting classes and workshops, so I try and make it to the meetings, even though it's an hour drive there.

I am going to NYC this year for Nationals. It will be my first time.

Todd R. Moody said...

Sounds like a wise choice Stacy, I like your reasoning!

Stacy McKitrick said...

Thanks, Todd! Sometimes I surprise myself.

Tracy said...

I think as long as you find something about the group that you get out of it to make you a better writer than you should stick to it. If not, it's okay to leave and admit it's just not working for you.

Personally, I prefer having a small group of beta readers who're willing to review my entire completed manuscript for me (and vice versa) rather than a group who'll critique a couple more pages when, admittedly, they may not even typically read in the genre I write.

Stacy McKitrick said...

Tracy,
Thanks for following!
I don't know if the group will make me a better writer, but it will help me interact with people, which I could use. If the group really gets out of hand, I may have to rethink it all over again.