A few months back during my Artist’s Way project, I mentioned that I was submitting some of my work for critique to my monthly writing group. Critiques in any form, whether welcomed or not, are hard to take. This is a pretty friendly group of writers, varying at all stages of writing levels, so I was sure I would hear some honest to goodness feedback.
My piece has a very historical setting. It was meant to be mentioned for background purposes but magically it became central to the story line which often happens on a 30 day journey of non-stop writing, a.k.a. NANOWRIMO. During that time you really explore your creative juices rather than focusing on facts and sentence structure. In other words, my kind of writing. Therefore, the piece I presented had a lot of flaws in historical timelines that I just couldn’t take the time to fix because it would have killed the integrity of the characters and story line. My goal with this critique was to see if the story had merit. From all that I got in that day I believe a lot people were intrigued by the plot line and one even said, “I want you to submit this piece again later because I want to know what happens.” That statement told me to keep going and to keep working on it. I have interest and that makes me happy.
Getting feedback can only help you get out of your story and see it with new eyes. But it is like your baby so it can be hard to hear it without thinking, “they hate it”. There were times during this session that I fought for my story, my characters, and my plot! Its natural, I think. But since this critique I have had time to review the feedback and really think of how to address these issues. I’ve come up with a whole new direction for my story while still maintaining some of the work I did. I plan to submit again in August to see what the group thinks of how I transformed the story from their comments.