I met with my critique group today for the first time since March. I’ve seen them around town and we’ve visited. It’s different to sit down and go over our writing line by line with together, though. Pooling our intellectual resources strengthens us all.
My two Prose Sisters are talented and insightful authors. They suggested things I never even considered. We spent a good ten minutes on one of my sentences today. They thought it could be more powerful, and they were right.
We discussed my word choice in several places. We looked up definitions and synonyms to make the best selections. I had to defend my use of “powerful thighs” as an appropriate description. It’s a romance. Good jeans cling to powerful thighs in a romance.
I sent them two short stories that I plan to submit to some contests and eventually publish as part of a collection. I thought one story was the best thing I’d ever written and the other needed a lot more work. They disagreed.
I asked them to be especially thorough with these two stories, and they both gave me their best feedback. They tore my favorite story apart, but they had very few suggestions and great praise for my other one. In fact, they said my writing was beautiful in the second story while I tended to repeat many words in the first.
One of my weaknesses as a writer is using the same words throughout a story. I get great words stuck in my head and they naturally flow into my prose. The story for which I had so much pride overused the words: donkey, butt, door, and carrots. I’ll leave the plot to your imagination. While it needs work, the story is still by far the funniest one I’ve ever written. Perhaps one day I will share with you.
The Prose Sisters are an important part of my life. They encourage me, yet hold me accountable. They question my motivation for certain scenes and aren’t shy about telling me when they think something needs cut. They point out any inconsistancies and my joyous use of adverbs, which they believe should all be deleted.
We agree to disagree about the adverbs. I do my best to keep them to a minimum, but deep down my heart I beleive they make prose more beautiful. I can’t bring myself to get rid of all of them.
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