Friday, June 22, 2012


by G.Parker

I tried to find a good picture of a groupie and all that really came up was stuff I wouldn't want anyone to see...let alone post!!  ARGH. picture.  Just put the image in your mind of the girls they showed when the Beatles came to America for the first time and they stood outside the ropes of the airplane and screamed as if the world had come to an end.  That's what I was wanting to put there...

Groupies mean different things to different people.  It's another one of those perception things.  They can be anything from a fish to a wild sex-crazed fan.  The groupie I wanted to talk about was critique groups.

I'm really missing mine.  Sigh.

I had an awesome group that I met with for over three years, possibly longer - the swiss cheese factor, ya know?  They became the voice in my head as I'd write, helping me edit along the way.  "Hey, you really don't want to put that word in there again, do you?  You know they'll just say "WHY?"  "Remember so and so doesn't like the m-dash."  "Last time they read this, they tore that whole plot line to shreds, so why are you still using it?"  Etc.

They really helped me be a better writer and think things through with more attention to reality and clarity.  I'm currently rewriting a story that they critiqued and suggested another turn of events for the plot line.  At the time I didn't like their suggestion and I basically put the story away because it wasn't working.  I've since pulled it out and have totally reworked the premise, just as they suggested I should.  Sigh.  It takes me a while, but I usually learn.  I figure I'm lucky if it only takes two or three times...

But I digress.  I bring up my critique group because we ended up disbanding several months ago.  There were several factors, jobs, family, career, busy life promoting current book, etc.  All very legitimate things and all happening at once, so we ended up calling it quits.  I'm secretly hoping that we'll all touch base again in a couple of years, and see how things are going.  All of them had talent and stories to be told.  I'm sure that many of them will end up in print and I'll be able to say, "Hey!  I knew them!"  I also hope they'll be able to say that of me.

I believe we've all mentioned critique groups before, and how beneficial they are, but I just wanted to remind you again.  If you don't belong to one, you need to find one and join in.  They really do help keep you centered on what it is you're trying to do -- write.

So, that's all the advice I have in me this week.  Hopefully I'll have something more profound next week.  Have a good one.

1 comment:

Weaver said...

Critique groups can be wonderful or terrible. I'm fortunate that mine is the former.