Friday, October 23, 2009

Ugly Critques

Living in the middle of nowhere, the best way for me to have my writing critiqued is to be part of an online critique group. I've had membership of a few and some unhelpful experiences.

As part of a speculative fiction group, someone told me my story "Soul Mates" which was eventually published in Black Magazine , could never happen because houses were inanimate objects and couldn't think or feel. Did I mention this was a SPECULATIVE fiction group. Had he not heard of - let's say Stephen King's "Christine"?

Another critiquer told me I was writing a story - therefore it had already happened - therefore I could not write it in present tense. I am still shaking my head over that one.

When I first started to seriously write, I discovered I knew nothing about commas. I did a lot of research on the Internet, thought I knew what I was doing, but thought my online critique group might point out to me where I was still getting commas wrong. I asked for specific feedback when I submitted my story - the answer from one helpful person. "Have a look on the Internet." I think that is when I left that group.

Happy, happy - I belong to a great group now, who would never be so patronising or unhelpful. I am a better writer for their honesty and experience. A fellow member, Nancy Kopp blogged about us and online critiques groups today.

1 comment:

Nancy said...

All very good reasons to have left those earlier groups. Being in a critque group takes a lot of time, and if they aren't really a benefit to you, then it does no good to stay in. So glad you found a really good group.