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May 13, 2009

Updating...writing, critique groups

Working hard on the new novel. I've finished the outline and so far it's 18 chapters long. That number will more than likely fluctuate as I'm actually writing the story. I finished the prologue and chapter one last night and will be starting chapter two today. I've had to rearrange some of the chapter ideas around already. My biggest issue right now is changing the POV. Lilian had the first POV but in order to further the story, introduce the goals and plotline, I need to change the POV to the other major characters. I either need to do this by jumping into their heads, or change the scenery in the chapter...OR...add chapters, but then they'll be shorter chapters JUST for that.

HMMmmmm...this is when I need a writing group.

I'm very happy that I lost an auction to [info]lovely_thistle . I'm not happy that I lost the auction, of course, but I AM happy that someone who won it deserves the pleasure and honor of the prize. PLUS, I'll get to meet her in person later, as a result of her winning this auction. (Selfish of me, but I do want to meet her in person!) LOL.

Actually, I was having anxiety and restless dreams when the auction was open. I wanted to win, BUT I was scared to death of winning. One of my depression/social anxiety "side effects" is lack of self confidence and self esteem, so the idea of having a professional, published author critique my work was a bit stressful. I kept having nightmares of being told I sucked and to give up on my writing, that I'd never make it to publishing.

Having confessed all that, I'm doing a 180 and saying that I want to join a critiquing circle. A small one. A post made by [info]lovely_thistle reminded me that I needed to write down what I want in a group.

I want constructive criticism. I don't want someone to pat me on the back and tell me they loved it. Alternatively, I don't want to be told it sucked and I'm a crappy writer. (I already think that. That's why I'm trying to improve, duh.)

I want honesty. If a part of the story sucked, I want to know. I want to know WHY the critic thought it sucked so I can improve it. The critic is being given the chance to be harsh YET positive. Along those lines, I like the sandwich method of critiquing. Alternate between the negative and the positive.

I suck at the whole grammar aspect of writing. I need someone who can point it out to me where I need to fix. I don't need someone to tell me HOW to fix, only WHERE. Let me figure it out on my own as to the how. I also have trouble with the showing versus the telling, so again, pointing out where would help.

What I want is someone/a group to read the work and identify the weakness(es) of my writing, point it out, and NOT write it for me to better it, but identify what's wrong so that I can look it up myself, look up the problem and learn how to correct it. If s/he/they could tell me the issue (you're telling, not showing...mixing present with past tense...etc), I'd be able to find the resources I need to learn how to correct it. If s/he/they knew resources to help me, then I wouldn't mind the help there.

I want someone/a group that will commit. I'm tired of people who say they will and don't...or only wanted to join so it becomes a social group. If I wanted a social group, I'd have joined a social group not a writer's group. If this is a face to face group, I don't mind SOME socializing, but the purpose of meeting isn't to gossip, or catch up on the latest who-did-what's and who-wore-what-when's.

Whew! That almost turned into a rant! LOL.

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