"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, 'What! You too? I thought I was the only one.'" ~ C. S. Lewis

Monday, February 21, 2011

And Then Came the Critique

Rewriting a book is HARD.

Okay, so maybe that's kind of an obvious statement.

I thought I got all the pantsing out of the way during NaNoWriMo. Um, yeah. Apparently not.

The event that was supposed to be the climax of the novel has suddenly become the conflict and turning point, which means that all the stuff that was supposed to happen in the sequel has to be reworked and reconsidered, because it has to happen now.

Don't even ask me how that happened. Because I have no idea.

But it's kind of exciting, because I feel like the story is going to be much better now!

In other crazy exciting news, I got my first official critique back a couple of weeks ago. Having a Crit Partner is pretty much the best thing ever. Especially a CP that you can e-mail with any and everything, be honest with, make Clue jokes with, and keep discovering that you have more and more in common with.

Lindsey and I kind of fell into this together, both thinking that it would be fun/ challenging/ good/ encouraging/ incentive to take the journey of writing a novel together. We set a deadline of the end of the month for exchanging sections and did our first critique at the end of January/beginning of February.

As Lindsey said in her post, critiquing someone is HARD WORK. You're trying to balance suggestions, grammar stuff, and positive comments (which was pretty easy, because I loved her turns of phrase and the concept behind the story). You're trying to be helpful, but not too critical, but not too nice, because she asked me to whack it apart if I needed to. Talk about a brain twister.

But I think (hope) that I was helpful and I found her comments so helpful in doing revisions on my own story. I feel like we get each other and that we understand each other's stories and I'm really excited to think about how much better we'll get at supporting, encouraging, and critiquing each other.

In more terrifying news, tonight my first three chapters get workshopped in my Fiction Writing grad class. Getting comments from one person is one thing. Having your work hashed out in class by some strangers (and some friends) while you have to sit there silently is something completely different.


But I want this story to be the best it can be so I say... bring it on.

Even though tonight I'll probably be hiding under my covers avoiding my WIP.


Melissa said...

Kinda intimidating to have your whole class reading and critiquing your work!!!

It's funny but I actually find critiquing really fun. I love commenting on others work and I am full of suggestions (just ask my CP group...they know). I really enjoy it. This week its my turn on the chopping block. Yikes!

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

the best things, though, about sitting in class quietly while others have at your work is that it will:
A. make you a much better critiquer
B. make you able to take critiques much better as well.

Totall worth it.

Dangerous With a Pen said...

If there are any meanies, just sic GNC on them... hehe :) Ahh, you're probably having a much more productive day with your story than I am, and I have the day off! I have no flow today. Maybe I need to go back to work, lol.

On a totally different note, my wv is "pregn"... as in... I think it knew what was good for it if it finished that word. ;)

erica and christy said...

We LOVE this post - so honest and so true!! (and not just because we love Lindsey so much, hehe...)

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

A good CP is invaluable! So glad for you for having found one. Try not to stress about your critique. The best thing to do is to just keep telling yourself that they're just trying to help you. any that get combative or overly harsh are not going to be able to help you, so you can just tune them out. Hang tough, hon! You can do this!