Tuesday, April 12, 2011
The Importance of Critique Groups
Last Read: Devon Monk's Magic on the Hunt Current Read: JD Robb's Indulgence in Death Planned Next Read: JD Robb's Treachery in Death At the Mid-Willamette Valley RWA meeting last Thursday evening, we had a critique group/brainstorming session. What a well of inspiration and energy! Some members brought pages of their latest work in progress to share, while others sought input on plot development. I asked for help from the group with defining a character's goal/motivation/conflict issues. In my mind, I have this really cool bad-guy character. But even though I know him in the present, I have had a difficult time parting the moth eaten curtains on his past so I can more clearly see where his future lies. It was so beneficial to 'air' this character, force myself to talk him out, out loud. As we spoke (they asked character-searching questions while I struggled to verbalize what I saw), I could see my character taking form. Suddenly, he wasn't quite so two-dimensional to me. And going through this process reminded me of a few simple things I could have already done (such as interviewing the character - well, duh!) that would have more clearly answered many of the questions surrounding this mysterious guy. I would like to thank the lovely ladies at last Thursday's meeting. Talking about this character really helped bring him into perspective for me. I feel reenergized and motivated to write - my fingers are begging to hit the keys. It was a privilege to be able to help you out with your own creative processes. Do you have a critique group or partner that you regularly seek out? If so, what type of relationship is it? Do you only share drafts, or do you help each other with brainstorming plot and character development? How often do you get together?