Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Other Members of My Writer's Group

It is a delight to critique (critique, not criticize--in the hopes that the work being critiqued will improve and have a better chance of getting published) the work of my writer group friends. I am thrilled when one of them either finishes a major project or actually gets published. Three out of four of us have been published and gotten money for it. I have a hard time counting mine (except I loved the check part) because the two manuscripts I sent out were short and one of them, although paid for, hasn't yet been seen in print.

G has finished numerous middle grade and YA novels. And every other month, he has a great idea for another one--no, no, he doesn't just have the idea, he writes the first few chapters. He hasn't been published yet but I'm anxious to have him be "discovered." I wish an editor would hurry up and do that. I have to have his book before I can get an autograph.

C writes interesting travel articles. Yes, compared to the dry, uninteresting travel articles. Every time he brings in one for us to critique--that would be every time we have "group"--I want to go where he's writing about. Now and then the travel article doesn't have enough personality so he rewrites it and brings it back as unique as he is. He has been featured in an email newsletter for MONTHS now. I wonder if it's been a year yet.

A illustrates and writes. It's marvelous. I do have A's autograph on a magazine cover she did and on a "comic book" she created for a non-profit. But the chapters she brings in for a couple of different novels she's working on make great reading. The characters are so distinct and fun to read about.

And then there's me... I really shouldn't be so selfish. I'm learning so much by critiquing their work but I'm not bringing enough in for them to practice critiquing mine. A presenter at a writer's conference said that you should join a writer's group to critique work rather than have work critiqued because you learn more that way. I better exhibit a bit more self-discipline and make myself write gobs of material for the sake of the group. I suppose that means getting up early or not watching as many movies...or perhaps I could just think and type faster. Ooo. I'll do that!

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