Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Surviving the Critique
These photos were taken with my phone camera from the back veranda of where we stayed, so they don't do the scene justice. We had an almost 180 degree view of a deep valley with mist in the morning, and sun traveling over it during the day.
Well, I survived ROR 2009. When ever I go away on these critiquing weekends I read the manuscripts before hand and write up my notes. Beforehand, I slave over my book, trying to make as good as possible and I go away feeling quite prepared.
By the end of the weekend, I discover all these things about my book that I overlooked, and I'm inspired to improve it. And, after hearing everyone else's critiques of the other books and reading them, I feel quite humbled. That's the power of the group mind. Although I shouldn't really call it a group mind, that makes it sound consistent. We are all so different, with differing strengths that it makes for interesting insights into the books and the way we write.
The important thing to bear in mind when having your work critiqued is to keep your vision for the book, while being open to new ideas. Try out ways ways to incorporate suggestions. Plus critiquing other people's books helps hone your analytical skills.
I can only judge by the people I know through ROR but writers strike me as lucky. They're passionate about their craft, generous with their knowledge and eager to see a fellow writer improve.
Now back to the real world. Sigh.