Saturday, July 23, 2011

Critique: Opinion NOT Fact

Enjoyed Saturday morning at Trinity Writers' Workshop. Such an eclectic group of writers and personalities. I did not read today, but I often learn more from hearing, sharing, and learning from others' works.

Just like a family, TWW has a vast variety of personalities and sometimes one can sense that someone's on edge, got their dander up, and not pleased with a critique.

Well, tough dookies, as we say when we invoke First Amendment. Not everyone likes everyone's work. It's opinion, not fact and you have to truly take a critique with a grain of salt. Sometimes a cliche fits the moment.

I know for some readings, I have not truly heard enough of the story to give a full assessment. Nonetheless, I can say that , for that chapter, I'm interested. I want to know more. Or the writing is not worthy of the full story. That happens sometimes. I might not like the genre or even know enough about it (i.e. Christian romance). However, I can decide if I like the writing itself and I feel qualified to comment, correct, and suggest action/pacing/tension for that chapter. The author can than accept my judgement, throw it out as crap, or have hurt feelings. Oh well.

Group critique is truly equitable. Sometimes one person's comment can generate a whole free form discussion and evolve into a new path for the author. It's often carried through to lunch and beyond.

Writers are sensitive creatures. We live in our little office worlds and emerge with paper. That paper can represent so much hope. Trinity Writers' Workshop is a group that seeks the best from its authors. The truth can hurt, but can also foster genius. Critique is the pathway light.


  1. Sounds like you guys had an interesting meeting! BTW, how did your talk go on Tuesday? I'm sure you were amazing and all benefitted greatly from your sharing your expertise and wisdom.

  2. TWW on Sat.morning is a delight. Lots of great reads and insight. My talk was okay. I was preaching to the choir - everyone there pretty much knows how to send out stuff, etc. But I gave handouts and sources. Most folks are working on books. I've found I enjoy flashes and poetry to journals. So, I'm the odd ball -gee, nothing new there!