Self Criticism

I’ve been able to get a bit of fiction writing done this past week. It feels tremendous.

I completed my first new chapter of my novel since last November and sent it out to my writing group, ahead of Monday’s meeting. I think it’s pretty good, but I’m anxious to hear what they think. They always have such excellent advice for me. Again, if you have the chance, get in a writing/critique group. It is so useful.

Once I get their feedback, I’m going to take the time to read the first five chapters of this thing. That absolutely terrifies me. I hate reading anything I write. I’m getting a stomach ache just thinking about it.

I’m not sure I’m a good judge of my writing, good or bad. What I have the most trouble with is answering the question: “Is this interesting and entertaining?”. I can judge grammar. I can judge style. I cannot judge if what I’ve written will keep the attention of a reader.

How about all of you?

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6 thoughts on “Self Criticism

  1. I LOVE my critique group — don’t know what I’d do without them! They pick up stuff that I’ll completely miss in my own work. (And as a bonus, they’re all really supportive and encouraging — even when they’re ripping apart my work, LOL!)

  2. I don’t have a critique group, but I have a couple of trusted readers.

    I agree with you that I need those outside eyes to judge how engrossing the story is. I tend to get too bogged down in the words, and lose grip on the story. So I’ve come to seek those honest reactions. While still cringing a little, of course. 😉

    Good luck, Paul!

  3. I always find it easier to judge something I’ve written if I leave it for at least a month before trying, but even then it’s still not easy!

  4. I never did attend a writer’s group. That might be something to consider as my kids get older. Of course I’d have to write something with meat to it, as well.

    But to answer your question, I, too find it very difficult to figure out if it *is* entertaining or if it’s just my opinion because I’m so close to it, you know?

    Also, it’s hard to judge a large audience — will a lot of people find this funny or just one-legged pirates in the midst of menopause. Am I appealing to a very small audience who I hang out with, or do engineers with two legs also find this stuff interesting.

    I do like the idea of the writer’s group in that it’s not your wife or your brother-in-law reading it and trying to protect your feelings.

    Let us know how the critique went.

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