E. B. Davis's "Ice Cream Allure" contained in the new anthology, Carolina Crimes: Tales of Lust, Love, and Longing is now available at http://www.amazon.com/Carolina-Crimes-Nineteen-Tales-Longing/dp/1479408832 Look for the trailer on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZVkSYbgD7V0&feature=youtu.be Nineteen tales by SinC members!

James M. Jackson's
new Seamus mystery, Cabin Fever was released this week. Look for the WWK Interview on 4/9.
Check here for a list of online retailers or to order a signed copy from Jim.

Linda Rodriguez's
new Skeet Bannion mystery, Every Hidden Fear, is available for preorder at her website:

http://lindarodriguezwrites.blogspot.com/
Look for the WWK Interview on 4/30.

KM Rockwood's new Jesse Damon novel, Brothers in Crime, will be released on May 2. Look for the WWK interview on May 14th.

Gloria Alden's
short story, "The Body in the Red Dress," has been accepted by the Bethlehem Writers' Roundtable for publication in March/April. Look for the story under the section called "and more" at the top of the featured author of the month. Also look for her third Catherine Jewell Mystery, Ladies of the Garden Club available at all bookstores in print and ebook.

Welcome Wednesday guests for April: Kathleen Dalaney 4/2, Jim Jackson 4/9, Janet Evanovich 4/16, Teresa Ingle 4/23, Linda Rodrigues 4/30.

Paula Gail Benson's short story
"Confidence in the Family" is featured in the Mystery Times Ten 2013 anthology, which can be bought at Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/Mystery-Times-2013-Linda-Browning/dp/0984203583/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1387240857&sr=8-2 ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Critique Groups

The Guppies are a constant source of help and support. I’ve made use of online critique groups and the opportunity to swap manuscripts. However and possibly because I wasn’t born into the digital age with a cell phone attached to my head like a third ear, I learn more from in-person critique groups. There’s no substitute for facial expressions, tone of voice, and body language. They make it so much easier to judge the most relevant criticism for my work and the general interest level in what I’ve written.

Here I’ll put in a plug for Seascape Writers Retreat that I attended this past weekend. I learned more in three days than I’d learn in a year of online feedback. It’s not the messenger but the medium. Some writers brought first drafts and they felt the feedback they received helped them deepen their characters and plot. Other first drafters changed their protagonists and villains. I think it makes sense to have feedback from the start unless you don’t mind stumbling in the dark for years or you produce almost perfect drafts the first time. Even writers who presented stories they’d been working on for months or years felt they learned from all the feedback they received.

I recognize that’s my opinion. Have you had a critique group that’s made all the difference to your writing?butterf5

8 comments:

E. B. Davis said...

I've had the exact opposite experience Pauline. My in-person writers group bombed. The problem was that the only group I found were male sci fi writers, which shouldn't have made a difference, but I could tell that no one really was reading my stuff. My online group (Guppies) are so more helpful, into my genre (even if mine is mixed), and positive. I feel the same way about my online short story group as well-so much better. Perhaps the in-person group and I just weren't well suited. I'm so gald you have good support where you live.

Pauline Alldred said...

Sci Fi is so different from mystery, Elaine. I guess we just have to search until we find the group where we click.

HSS said...

All my Guppies critique groups have been excellent. My first and last in person critique was horrible. But it drove me to find writing classes. In those classes I found the type of feed back you're talking about. I'd have to say that it's not whether it's in person or not, but how well it's done.

Leslie said...

Used to be part of a great group, but I moved away. Haven't been able to duplicate it and have had bad experiences with other groups since.

Pauline Alldred said...

Hi HSS and Leslie, it seems a writer has to search for the most helpful group and then it's so hard to leave that group. An unhelpful group,I think, is less than nothing.

Katherine said...

I agree with you. I prefer in-person critiquing. It could be because I had such a great first experience and haven't been able to duplicate it since. My former critique partner and I would meet one evening each week at our local Barnes & Noble for a couple of hours. Unfortunately, she sent a query letter to an agent, received a "good story, but not what I'm looking for right now" rejection letter. With that one letter, she stopped writing completely, saying she couldn't handle the rejections sure to come in the future. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't convince her it was just one person's opinion. Not long after that, she moved and we lost touch.

Pauline Alldred said...

That is too bad, Katherine. Rejection is hard to take but maybe writers have to recover from the first one and grow a thicker skin.

Warren Bull said...

I've had a variety of experiences. The best group I ever attended was by invitation only. I had to submit a sample and be voted in. It was a no-holds-barred critique group: not for the faint of heart. But everyone in it wrote seriously and critiqued seriously. Other face to face groups have been helpful to some degree. I think if requires a match of skill levels and personalities which is hard to find. I also like and benefit from Guppies on-line groups.