Monday, June 28, 2010
I know a lot of writers wait until they have the book written or substantially written before they allow others to read it. I find, though, that meeting regularly keeps me on track. It forces me to move forward no matter how much I want to rewrite and revise the first part of the book. I think of my in person critique group as my "development" team and we do a lot of brainstorming so by the time I get to the end of the book the first time it ends up being closer to a second or third draft because I've been over the pages a couple of times.
Meeting other writers in person is the single most important thing that has me moving forward. Twice a month I have to show up with new pages - or make an excuse why I can't. And believe me when I have to say out loud those lame excuses I give myself for not writing, I buckle down and actually produce pages.
I also have an online critique group, They see my pages after the in person critique group has weighed in and I've made any changes I agree with. Sometimes I ditch the pages or entirely rewrite the chapters before they go to the online critique group. One of the writers in my online group is a published author in the series I'm targeting so I'm very lucky to have her comments on issues that are unique to series romance; the degree of alphaness, the glamor factor, etc.
It took several years and several critique group set ups for me to find what works. I write contemporary series romance and both my in person CP's write contemporary woman's fiction, but they do have an affinity for series. I don't think there's anything more damaging than writing in a genre that your critique partners don't get. Since we're writing different genres, we do have to step back sometimes or qualify our suggestions because the different genres demand different things. And if a partner doesn't understand that it can lead to difficulties.
Do you have a critique group or partners? Do you meet in person or online? Send pages as you write or when completed? Have you tried arrangements that haven't worked?
I'm off to complete those edits on this rainy Monday morning.