marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

a conundrum of writing groups

When the bulk of your writing group dislikes a stretch of your story, usually it's a sign of there being a problem there.

Even if they all wildly disagree about what the problem is.  If one says it's too drawn out and one that it's too brisk, or if one says that Jane is too meek and another that she's too bossy, there's still some problem there -- which may be neither of their complaints.  But the stretch clearly has a problem.

Even if, more embarrassingly, they all misread the same point, telling you that it's not clear that it's X when in fact it's not X.  It's a clue that you have to slice out what led to that conclusion or splice in something to point to its being Y.  Even if you have to mutter imprecations about the clue here there and the other place and how there really were no clues at all to its being X and so really there's no excuse.

The real fun and games arise when some people single out something for stern criticism -- and other people single it out for particular praise.
Tags: revision, writing groups

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