My critique group met last night, and I just have to say: I love these ladies. Not only am I getting to read their awesome stories and receiving valuable feedback on mine, I'm also learning from their personal experiences.
For example, Lori and Gwen attended a writing retreat a few weeks ago with Arthur Levine. Yes, I bow down in their presence. They have met God :) One of the things he pointed out in everybody's manuscript is the dreaded, "So you see Bob..." It's the part of the story where the main character overhears someone telling some vital information. We all laughed, but we've all done it. Not good. We have to find better ways to write the story.
Val pointed out a section of my manuscript where I told instead of showed. The sentence read:
Gilbert lifted his leg to stomp on the boulder when suddenly it transformed into a man, a very litle man, who raised his head and reached out to grab Gilbert's leg."Suddenly is cheating," she said. "I want to see this." Good point. I'll be working on that today. Kim and Lori pointed out an area where the characters should have been scared, but they take it all in stride. Well, duh. Of course! Why didn't I see that?
I started blogging just over a year ago. And I remember reading about people in critique groups and wishing I had that and wondering how to find a group to join. I had false starts and I've had wonderful individual critiques from other people. But I feel so lucky to have found these amazing writers in my group. Being able to hash out ideas, find the weak spots in my writing and hang out with a fun bunch of people has to be one of the best parts of this journey so far.
And I'm so glad they won't let me cheat :)