Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Thank you to our fabulous critique partners!!

I thought I would give out a shout of appreciation to my critique partner today. We have only been working together for a few months but up until that point I had worked alone, with no first reader and no critique partner. I have to say I find that really, really strange now.

It is not the way to write, I promise you.

She is fantastic! Not just with editing and restructure of sentences but making me think deeper and harder. A critique partner will not only improve your writing, he or she will also make you understand yourself a lot better too. I am not lecturing about spirituality or ‘finding yourself’, although I do believe in people continually searching for their authentic self. What I am saying is, I didn’t realize how much of me I put into my stories when I write.

What do I mean?

As I write erotic romance I don’t mean the sex is me…well, maybe some of it is, lol! What I mean is, I’ve come to realize that the theme or message of my stories is often very similar. My main issue seems to be trust. What it takes for my protagonist to trust again after heartbreak, bereavement or betrayal.

A fresh pair of eyes can spot your theme, sometimes before the author recognizes it herself. The advantage of knowing your theme from early on in the creativity process is huge. It means as the writer, you will delve deeper into your character, bring their heartfelt emotions onto the page and thus, give your reader a hugely satisfying read.

Why? Because they will understand your character’s deep-seated fear, the internal obstacles holding them back from being the person they want to be. This is what is at the heart of a good story, surely? Think about your favorite books. Wasn’t it the characters internal struggles that kept you turning the pages. When we pick up a book, we hope to find something that resonates with us. Something that makes us think, feel, cry or laugh. We want to travel with the character through an issue we understand.

On the other hand, if your critique partner is making you uncomfortable or suggesting changes you really don’t agree with – that’s fine too. Reach out for a partner. I promise whether or not you find one who fits, they will add something to you as a writer and make you and your work better than it was before.

I’d love to hear your experiences with critique partners or whether or not you even agree with me!

Rachel x

No comments:

Post a Comment