A to Z Challenge 2013

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Insecure Writer's Support Group - The Idea


Happy New Year to everyone.Even though we're a few days into the new year, I decided to wait until now to put up my first post of the year.  I decided to change how the Muse looks just because I felt like switching to something new.  I also decided to make my post for the Insecure Writer's Support Group the one that starts this year off.

I recently got the last critique from my critique partners and although it was really great stuff, it was also a little bit of a punch in the gut.  If that critique partner is reading this, understand that it's not your fault at all.  You did a wonderful thing for me and now that I've had a moment to absorb everything, I completely understand the why's and how's.  It's a great critique and will be very useful.  But on first read, I do admit that I felt...not as good about my writing as I usually do.

There was one thing the critique partner said though that turned on a light bulb.  I have a habit in my writing of coming up with a central idea for a story and then trying to reveal that idea slowly.  I withhold little bits here and there, and I guess I'm trying to keep things mysterious.  What it ends up being is an artificial curtain that I intend to whip aside in some kind of "Ta-da" moment.

After I thought through what the person was getting at with their comments (and got over the idea that I am a terrible writer who needs tons of help), I realized that I have been trying to hide the idea until the <em>right</em> moment when what I really should be doing is tossing the central idea out there and writing that idea's story.  I need to just draw my reader in, put a spotlight on my characters, and tell the story.  No curtain, no artificiality, just a good yarn for them to enjoy.

A critique where I learn something really solid about my writing is a great way to start the year.  It does mean I have to change how I think a little bit, change how I write.  But that's a constant process for all writers, so it's not a bad thing.  In the end, I'm ready for a better year than the last, and hopefully I will somehow finish one of these WiPs.

Has anyone else had some cool epiphanies as the new year begins?  Tell me all about it.


Marta Szemik said...

My last critique made me cut 4000 words out of the novel and it worked. The wordiness was gone and it flowed much better. So although we cringe as writers, critique is necessary. Better to get it done before it's published than after. Keep it up!

Cherie Reich said...

No recent epiphanies, but I've had those critiques that make you go "well, duh!" That's why we need other people yo go over our work because sometimes we're just too close to it.

Tasha Seegmiller said...

I just had this happen too. Isn't it wonderful to have critique partners to help us along the way? Great post - new follower :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's what makes a great critique partner so awesome - we may not like it, but they will make our writing better if we just listen.
Thanks for participating in the IWSG!

Eric said...

Marta - You are so right. Thanks for the encouragement.

Cherie - I agree. I am loving the feedback I get from my critique partners.

Tasha - Thank you for following. And thanks for the great comment. It is really great when we get a good critique of our work.

Alex - You said it perfectly. All we have to do is listen and realize they are trying to help us improve. Thanks for stopping by.

Julia Hones said...

My epiphany is that no matter what happens around me, I can always choose my attitudes and my thoughts to bring positive and creative solutions. This is a good mindset to start the year.

Eric said...

Julia - You are so right. That is a great way to start the year. Good luck with yours, and may we both enjoy many successes.