Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Critique Groups

I  belong to a critique group, and I look forward to our weekly meetings.

We have such fun!

Uh, oh. I shouldn't have used that exclamation mark. According to one of our members, we use entirely too many of these in our writing. And, we use too many semi-colons.

We currently have eight members that come on a regular basis.
Our latest member writes mostly poems.
We have three other members who are very good at poems, but they also write short stories.
We have a member who writes novels.
One who writes novels, memoirs, children's stories, and columns.
One who writes essays and columns and is thinking about writing her memoir. She is a retired English professor and author of four books, including “The Confident Writer,” a grammar-based college textbook. Boy does she know her grammar, and she tells it in such a way (usually with humor), that makes it easy to remember.

I write picture books, middle grade books, chapter books, poems, Appalachian, columns (newspaper and magazine) and novellas.

We look forward to our meetings and try not to miss any.  We gab about this and that at the beginning. We bring extra copies of our material with us to give out to each member.We also bring our tough layer of skin, because this is when the reading and editing begins.

We mark on our copies of the story or poem and we make suggestions.

And, I almost forgot to say that we give each other support and encouragement.

At our last meeting, I was a little down. I had been bringing my novella to our meetings for critique. I said that I didn't think there was much of a chance of getting it published, because publishers weren't exactly tripping over top of each other in their rush to obtain novellas.

One of our members said, "Yes, they do. I read a lot of books that contain two or three novellas."

I had never thought of that. My two novellas would go perfect together in one book. The first manuscript takes place in 1908 when a young couple gets married and it ends with the birth of their first child. The second manuscript takes place in the early 1940s. The main character is one of the daughters of the couple in the first manuscript.

Since then I have been writing, writing and writing on my manuscript--really giving it a once over.

If you don't belong to a critique group, I would suggest you join one.  Every manuscript needs a separate set of eyes to look at them.

I love critique groups and I think you will too.

Do you belong to one?