Here’s a delicate topic to put up on your writing groups blog– How to deal with critiques.
I dumped my Pathfinder book on the group a few weeks ago, and this week they came back with their comments. Which are wonderful! And helpful! And annoying, because what do you mean it’s not perfect? Not that I expected it to be perfect. But there’s always that hope…
Anyway, now I’m looking over their comments and getting ready for the next big revision pass. Some of their suggestions are easy to deal with. Yes, I should use apostrophes correctly. And not repeat the same descriptor over and over. And yeah, that loving description of a cave that the characters are walking through, where nothing actually happens, that can probably go away. But there are tougher things to deal with, mostly stuff about character building and motivation, and a bit about plot and pacing, that will require some rumination.
Rumination is a very good word for this process. I tend to be resistant about these kind of comments at first, mostly because I’m lazy. I force myself to chew their advice up and swallow it down though, and if it doesn’t digest easily, its time to bring it back up for more chewing. Generally, after a few rounds of this, I end up with a solution that sits good in my gut. Though occasionally I spit something out.
It’s an important part of the whole revision process that just happens to involve a lot of sitting in a chair, making weird faces, and occasionally groaning.