Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Round Table Critique

Where Am I today? Stockholm.

This is my last installment of the Strong Words workshop I attended May 2nd. Next time I blog, it will be a real live blog. Not a post-dated one.

At the workshop, I participated in my first ever Round Table Critique. Actually my first in-the-flesh critique by other writers. And it was very enlightening.

Of course, this being my first, I proudly handed over two pages of my manuscript that were perfect. After all, they didn't really need to be critiqued. Only praised.

And so my two pages were read aloud by another writer.

Then there was silence.

"They are so impressed, they are speechless," I thought.

Actually, I later realized the silence followed every read, as all of the writers gathered their thoughts on what they wanted to say.

And the general consensus? It could be tightened, they said. A little too wordy in places.

And now that this has been pointed out to me, I see it. It is so loud. How did I not see it before?

And one final note, and along the lines of Natalie's Bad Critiquer/Good Critiquer post the other day, the same advice was given in two very different ways. Critiquer A said it in a way that left me and my manuscript blushing...and a little defensive. Critiquer B said it in a way that made me JUST GET IT. Be kind to each other.


  1. This made me laugh! How many of us have thought exactly that same thing? The longer you throw your stuff out though, the more you understand no matter how perfect it is (which it always is!!), everyone will have something to say to change it. :)

    I hope your trip is amazing and awesome! I look forward to hearing more about it.

  2. I'm scared when I start thinking a spot is perfect, because I know there's no such thing. LOL!
    I'm glad you're learning so much and passing it on to us. :-) Love it!

  3. Yep, I've been there--both kinds of critiques. It really does make a difference when people know how to offer advice.

  4. I go to a writers group ever other week and there are all kinds of different critiquers in our group of about 10. It's amazing to see the drama that can ensue if somebody gets their feelings hurt after a critiquer is a bit harsh. I always think it's best to be straight forward, but hopefully in a nice and helpful way.