Focus on Food

Dear Readers:

Let me tell you about my critique experience. If you want to see your writing through your future readers’ eyes, join a critique group. This bunch brought unique perspectives of my writing to each meeting. One attendee’s strength was pointing out my addiction to telling rather than showing. A second member policed my insatiable desire to repeat the same thing multiple times. Hey, if it sounded good with the first pass, why not emphasize the action or thought by restating it at least two more times? The third person was a master plotter and would devise clever ways to solve my heroine’s dilemma when I had run out of ideas. And the last person, who was way ahead of the rest of us, working on her third manuscript, would routinely implore us to begin building our platforms or writing our query synopses and agent-seeking letters. She swore we would all thank her some day. Looking back on it, I would say the only negative was steeling myself for impending constructive criticism. It could be painful to admit I had to revise, delete or start over from another POV. I bravely managed to silence my pain by eating delicious food prepared by that meeting’s hostess. Later in the cycle, when I was no longer the “newbee” and it was my turn to welcome members to my home, I spent most of my day cooking. It struck me as wrong that I was putting more effort into refreshments than into evaluating another’s submitted pages. So I began a campaign to “cook less and critique more.” The plot thickens.

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