I love my new critique group. We are small, we are literate and we are damn good writers. More than that, we all see structure, we see how character dovetails into plot, we see emotional and philosophical complexity, and we walk away richer from every meeting. Jazzed.
Notes that I know would have gotten me booted from a previous group are greeted with real delight. And a novel that I have struggled to revise for a years now is finally coming into shape, because these writers can point out--"this is the ugh moment, here is where we need more umph. Here's where your plot's going astray. Is this what you're meaning to say? And the purpose of this scene, is it this or this? Where does this scene go in the flow of things again?"
We pay attention, we ask real questions--none of this "you must stay silent" stuff, which can get in the way of really understanding the problem or suggestion. Then, we go home, we rewrite, and we submit the next chapter.
Everybody wants to improve. Everybody is willing and able to put in the work. Everybody is balanced and sane. Nobody's ego is on the line.
We laugh a lot. We share books we love. We love to write. It's simple and complicated and just plain fabulous great. Yahoo!