Friday, March 16, 2007

Crit Groups

I've been part of a crit forum for a little over a year now. I remember very well what it felt like to join it. After all, it was really the first time I dipped my big toe into the murky waters of public criticism. (g) Although I'm a little battle worn, I have come out the other side relatively unscathed. Plus, I'm still writing. LOL. Guess they didn't deter me, no matter how hard it seemed some tried at times.

I learned a lot in the past year, and hopefully, it shows in my writing. I look back at some of my earliest chapters posted for critique and I CRINGE. LOL. Not to say it's completely horrible, but back then I didn't know the simplest of rules about how to format a book (Gah, I couldn't punctuate dialog correctly to save my life!). If that original book ever sees the light of day, it will require a major overhaul. Of course, even though it's very cringe worthy, I see its potential. So, perhaps all is not lost with it.

Anyway, I've given it some thought, and I think it might be time for me to pull up stakes and move on. I'm really not enjoying the general tone I see on this particular board right now. I'm all about having confidence in your work...and I agree with the adage that you shouldn't write by committee... but the lack of humility as of late is a bit tough to stomach. It seems the general attitude lately is "If you don't like my work, you just don't _get_ it" and "If you do like my work, you're obviously an intelligent reader who's on my level." *blinks*

I actually read someone compare their own work to a full course meal with a glass of sherry and a cigar after -- while simultaneously saying that a lot of the other members liked happy meals. Being as I'm just about the only person to recommend this particular writer make big cuts to her wip, I can only assume this is directed at me. My knee-jerk response is that verbal diarrhea with no direction is not the same as a full course meal... but, I digress.

Anyway -- yeah, I think it's time to move on. Perhaps someday I'll go back. We'll see. Right now I'm very excited at the prospect of joining the kidcrit group linked to this same forum. I know of some really awesome writers in this particular section, and I can't wait to have them take a whack at BTPM.

I guess if my gut is telling me to leave, it's probably the right decision. Nevertheless, it does make me sad to go.


Jenny said...

Well, darn. And just as I was getting ready to start posting actual chapters of ELSPETH...I was looking forward to you taking a whack at them. But I understand your frustration. I may run into the same issues (once I burn through all my hoarded credits for Narc I/Faking It and have to start critting other stuff *g*).

Jen said...


Well, you never know what I'll end up doing. I'll probably take a couple of weeks to think about it. I do have _a lot_ of credits stacked up, so maybe I'll stick it out. Perhaps I'll just try and avoid certain members. (g) Of course, kidcrit would probably be more beneficial for this particular book, but I'm a crit-wh**e (g).

Beth said...

Hi Jen,

Are you talking about the critiquing workshop I think you're talking about? As in, the one associated with the forum of which we are both members? (Though I'm on sabbatical at the moment. [g]) Anyway, I'm a bit shocked that the entire group is so narcissistic--I mean, usually there used to be one or two like that, but it was never the entire group mindset. Sounds like a good time to withdraw.

Jen said...


The very one, unfortunately. Don't get me wrong -- it's not everyone. Just a group of newbies who have sort of overrun the place in the past few months. They love to pump each other up, and if you come in with a differing opinion, you're promptly snubbed. Pretty much what happened to me when I posted a recent crit and got hammered for my opinion. LOL. Oh well -- guess that's my cue. (g)

Beth said...

You can lead them to water, but you can't make 'em drink. [g]

Kidcrit, from what I hear, is a very good group. I think you're going to enjoy it.

Jen said...


It's enough to make me want to slam my head with a door -- repeatedly. (g)