Getting Your Feet Wet

When you submit a story for critiquing it’s a HUGE step. You are going into unchartered territory. And that doesn’t mean only with your first story you ever submit. Each time you send something to your group, or a friend, it can be scary.

“Will they like it? Will they see where I’m going? Will they understand it? Will they tear it down?” Are some of the questions that run mad in my head on any given day. But I’ve found that children’s writers are some of the best people on earth. They are extremely helpfull and don’t mind pointing each other in the right direction. Take a deep breath and let that baby of yours go.

Receiving a critique can be difficult at best. There are times when I read over a critique and go: “WHAT?!?” Some times I’ve wanted to stomp my feet and have a righteous fit too. **haha, but really*** Then I’ve gotten the ones that “””I”””” got right away and could see what they were saying.

Getting critiques that tell you how good everything is and how you can be published is great for the ego. But I’ve found that the ones that point out where even one line can be stronger better. It is a tid for tat, love hate relationship.

Having someone say… “I don’t understand this paragraph” or “I think you need to cut this scene out, because…” or “Where did this come from” or any number of other things helps me out and gives me focus. When I get all my critiques together, I try to remain objectionable and look at each one individually and then as a group. Does one really hit home? Are they all (or a majority)  saying the same thing in one area. Even if I don’t agree with what they are saying, I let it sink in for a day or two.

Then the revisions start. You don’t have to make EVERY change that your critique partners suggest. ***this is your baby after all*** But I have done a total rewrite on what some have said. I’m talking about TO-TAL, going from one pov to another total. WHEW! And guess what?!? ~~~I liked it! HA!~ Go figure, right. Of course I didn’t do the rewrite right away. I sat and stewed about it for a week or two. And then -just to prove myself wrong- I did it. OH BOY! What an ego burster I can give myself. BUT in the end I learned better trust of my group and my group learned that I’m not as pig-headed as everyone thinks I am. *blushing*

Do I submit my story back to my critique groups??? You betcha! My groups have seen their fair share of each of my stories. And I have inreturn seen theirs. It’s all part of it, esp. with a major revision. But I have found that my critique groups are a valuable part of my writing process, or should I say my life too. They have helped me over many hurdles. And I know I’m a better writer for it!

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