Hi everyone…I’m Baaaack!
It was a lovely week in Cancun, Mexico, but now it’s back to the day job, the 30 degree weather and reality. (You mean no room service-no pool bar in my apartment? Damn.)
Now, several things happened while I was on vacation, the most significant of them being that my husband broke my Kindle. Yes. you heard correct. Broke. My. Kindle. It was a tough decision but I allowed him to remain breathing (there was a debate about that).
He also has a hard time sleeping while on vacation, and tends to snore. Loudly. Now, you may ask, “Why in God’s name does she need to tel us that?” Well, it is because when he would snore, Nancy couldn’t sleep. And when Nancy couldn’t sleep, she would lay in bed and run scenes for my WIP in my head. And one morning, (it was 4:20 am), an entire re-write of the first scene for my first WIP just popped into my head. I got out of bed and typed it all out. and I love it.
When I first decided to try my hand at writing, I, being an internet groupie, did a Google search for Romance Writing groups. I joined one and saw that there were critique groups. I had written quite a few chapters and I submitted my first.
A whole new world of language opened up to me: Headhopping, POV, Info Dump, Dialogue Tags, etc. Other writers would go through my work and make suggestions, some of which were very helpful.
But then there were the other comments that were downright mean. Nasty. Comments for the sole purpose of demoralizing a person. I’m not a baby, and I don’t need my criticism sugar coated but there is a way to say things that is constructive and a way to say things that is nasty. I thought, “What’s up with that?” Is that the way to help someone who is first starting out? Not in my book. Literally and figuratively. So I left that group and haven’t been back.
It was the best thing I ever did.
The art of critiquing and being critiqued is a fine dance between people who are virtually strangers, and whose only common denominator is their written word. When you enter a critique group, you must first critique someone and then they will “crit” your work. You put in your baby, your written words that you think are so perfect, and watch it come back with red lines, deletes and examples of how much better your work can be.
I now belong to several romance writing forums and several critique groups. For all the other writers out there, I may be wrong, but receiving back a critique from a fellow writer can be one of the scariest emails to open. Will they like it? Do I have a story line? Can I actually write? Writing Regency Romance is challenging, as there are so many differences in language, social strictures and other issues that require knowledge of the time period, so I was thrilled to find several forums where there are people who specifically write in that genre. People who understand and are helpful with their comments and critiques
I am back to writing and re-writing my first WIP, The Duke’s Frozen Heart (and back to the name for now at least), but I hadn’t submitted it for a critique for quite a while. Once I re-wrote that scene and felt so much better about the first chapter, I decided to submit it.
The critiques showed knowledge of the genre, knowledge of writing and viable improvements to the story that will make it so much better. I cannot say how much I appreciate these wonderful writers who take the time out of their busy schedules to critique other people’s work, my work included with their thoughtful incisive comments and suggestions.
So this is my thank you to all the wonderful authors at Regency Romance Critiquers, Rom-Critters and FTH Critiquers for all the help you have given me. I can only hope my critiques have helped you, and that we can all cheer each other on to publication.
Have you, as a writer, ever experienced negative feedback that caused you to have second thoughts as to continuing on?