As a writer of over 32 novels and counting, I have not had the benefit of a critique partner, or group.
Grammarly and other artificial intelligence can only take you so far in the creative process. Typos and other grammatical errors are inconsequential if your story sucks.
The problems are many, but mainly we writers are a solitary bunch. Many days, if it were not for my business, I would speak with no one. My characters and stories become my life, as I am confident, do many of yours. We sit here in solitary with the keyboard making its little clicking sounds as, “our music.” That is ok to me, and probably many of you too.
“Is it really ok?”
First, we must recognize that we are social creatures and are meant to be that way to keep from being maladjusted in this world of other social beings. Some of us live out in the country, and I envy you!
If you are reading this, you have the internet. With that tool, you no longer need to be an island all on your own. We, you and I share a bond, the many do not share. We share the passion for creating things with our minds. We create realms, and people, and are very much like God him or herself. Yes, I did it; I assigned God a position in life by anthropomorphizing God as a being, like us.
With this internet and access to this blog and others like you, we, you and I can share stories or ideas. You and I can, in fact, offer constructive criticism on your WIP.
When starting, your ego might be fragile, and it is ok to ask your partner to go a little easy. I have stated in previous blogs, for the person offering the criticism to look for the good stuff and mention it, before you deliver the crushing reality of what they are doing wrong, “in your opinion.”
Allow me to emphasize that opinion part.
I sent a story out to my critique group which is comprised of all types of people. The nerd among them who I respect, and care about, tore the story apart as the science in his “opinion” sucked. The story was a romance based around weak science much like the flux capacitor. The science was, in fact, a focal point only to build the story.
In most romances, the characters are the focal point and the “event” is the supporting trope.
The others in the group loved the story.
As you think of your audience, you should also consider what they tell you from their viewpoint. As my mother used to say, “Consider the source.”
We will be talking much more about this in the future, as I very much like to pay it forward, to other writers out there. “Yes, that means you!”
Along with this subject, I will be spending much more time writing about all aspects of writing. Why?
As I learn, one of the best ways to cementing that knowledge is to “teach” it. Why not teach you, my followers, if that sort of thing is of value to you.
As we move into the holiday season, many of you will have some time, and I pray that you use it to spend with family and friends. We writers need to divest ourselves of the computer every now and then and live. I know what I am asking because I would much rather spend time with my characters and you, then family. Truthful I know, but it is what it is.
What can you do?
- If you are not already a follower of me here, do that.
- Offer some opinions on my writing here, if nothing else.
- The novel I let the group read is Tipping Point, and it is free on Kindle Unlimited. Read it and give me some feedback before I re-write it.
Currently, I am teaching myself more about Dialogue, and I will be sharing what I learn with you here, as again, I am a firm believer in paying it forward. Dialogue is the most essential part of your fiction, and if you blow it, you are wasting your time.
If you have a subject that interests you, let us know here in the comments.
Share this with your friends and followers as we strive to perfect our craft.
Much Love and Happy Holidays! -TW