I’ve been a part of four different critique groups at different times in my life (and in different places around the country). What I find again and again in a group committed to working together is that members gain as much, if not more, than they give.
I’ve been in revision mode for the last month. I’d finally found where I thought my mid-grade girls’ book needed to go, wrote it up, and took it to my meeting. And what did my critique partners say? You’re not there yet.
Here’s where the magic comes in. We started talking. Together we brainstormed about what really needed to happen. I was closer, I had upped the tension, but the majority of that tension wasn’t carried by the protagonist, as it needed to be.
I started rattling off my protagonist’s character traits, one being that she has always played the role of secret keeper. Suddenly, things began to crystallize. What if the secrets she kept got out, against her will? What if her friends didn’t believe she was innocent? What would the consequences be for her friendships and the club?
Now I’m moving CAN’T BREAK US in this new direction, excited to watch my protagonist grow and see the story come together as it should.
Thanks, Bonnie and Dayle!
How has your critique group helped guide your writing?