Last year, while having parts of my WIP critiqued by a CP, I received an unexpected bit of feedback.
It had to do with the physical description of a certain character. Specifically, the fact that, in her mind, I hadn’t provided a physical description at all.
Apparently, I’m both a better and worse writer than I always thought.
It’s been pretty much a full year since I started my critique group, and the time I’ve spend working with my CPs has been full of revelations about myself as a writer.
I’ve got one more kick at the can.
I’m a long-standing lover of New Year’s resolutions, and this year, aside from just setting some—which is the easy part—I decided to perform regular progress assessments in order to course correct as needed to help boost my likelihood of achieving success.
I always believed that I was a good writer.
This is a fairly common trait among writers and not necessarily a bad thing. No one would spend the necessary months or years to write a novel if they didn’t on some level believe themselves good at it, or at least capable of getting better.
Writing is not a team sport, except for when it eventually becomes one.
Overall, I consider writing the most solitary of the arts. Not only does writing a novel involve spending months, if not longer, alone inside one’s head trying to reproduce the drama unfolding therein, the interim stages of an unfinished novel hold next to no interest.
Back in February, the month where many people end up abandoning their New Year’s resolutions, I made a point of reassessing mine.
I did this to examine my progress to date, in order to adjust course as necessary, and better plan for success.
TV sitcom Home Improvement characters Al (left) and Tim (right)
In a previous post, I shared thoughts I’ve had about my novel being critiqued by my critique group.
One post is nowhere near enough words to cover my insights on this process, which is still in progress.
One particular insight has taken me all the way back to the 1990s.
Fourth (left) and partial sixth (right) drafts of my WIP
It’s the worst feeling in the world.
But of course that’s not the end at all. Indeed, the realization of how wretched having your work critiqued can be is only just the beginning of a new stage of your writing journey.
(Continued from Part 1)
I’ve previously blogged about my efforts in forming a critique group.
More specifically, that post was about all the things I demanded of prospective members in order to prove their interest, commitment, and ability to do the necessary work of critiquing.
It’s widely agreed that most people abandon their New Year’s resolutions by mid-February.
I’ve always found this perspective unduly negative and deterministic. Yes, many people may suffer setbacks in their yearly goals during February. Yet it’s also widely agreed that “If at first you don’t succeed…” is a valid approach to life.