Friday, July 18, 2008

Learn Before You Submit

by G.Parker

My daughter was watching the LDS version of Pride and Prejudice the other day -- the one with the "Pink Bible".

There is a scene where Elizabeth is confronted by the knowledge the man she despises is talking about her manuscript and is critical of it. He tells her that while they want to buy her story because it's really good, it's "deeply flawed" and will need extensive revisions by an experienced writer.

She immediately goes on the defensive and informs him that it's been through 10 revisions and suspects that his rejection of it has something to do with her turning him down for a date. He tells her their personal life has nothing to do with his professional evaluation of her work, and goes on to point out different spots that need work.

Watching this, the thought popped in my head that if she'd only been a member of a writing group, she could have avoided that whole scene! The group would have caught all the glaring errors and other problems before an editor would ever have seen it.

I know it's made a difference in my writing. My group has been so helpful that I'm having to take stock of my work they were evaluating, and have them look at something else while I do a major edit on the manuscript I thought was ready to be submitted.

It amazes me to realize how I view things now. I'll read through something and it's like I can hear the group in my head -- commenting on this or that aspect of my writing. It's almost like having a built in editor.

If you haven't already done so, I highly recommend joining a critique group to anyone who hasn't already become part of one and wants to be a serious writer. Find a group close to you. Take your work. You'll never regret it.

Then you'll never be faced with someone wanting to buy the story line -- but not the story.

1 comment:

Cindy Beck said...

Gaynell,
It's amazing how much belonging to a critique group helps!