(Or, Growth Spurts)
You know that feeling, when another light bulb bursts on behind your creative genius, when something that one of your crit partners says to you that finally…clicks. It’s a new breath, a new way of looking at your writing and making it better. Maybe they told you that you’re protecting your protag too much, or your antagonist needs just a hint of likeability. Or maybe your fab crit group makes you realize that your theme weakens at the end, just when you it needed to strengthen. Or maybe you were (ugh) telling when you should have been (ugh) showing. And then you want to share this newfound knowledge with others, so the next
twenty-seven several critiques you do, you focus on this area. Because really? Everyone should grow with you.
I think that the results of the Ninja Science Pie got me to think more about this topic, when three of our writer/critique friends fessed up: “I tend to crit things that I’m currently working on.” At first I thought, well, of course you do, but
being the black-and-white scientist I am, that doesn’t answer my original question, “What area do you focus on (such as voice, plot, grammar, etc.) when you critique?”
But it did answer my question, because these writer/critiquers are developing, and the area of focus changes over time. If a new bulb begins to blink behind them, they not only embrace it, they share it. And the greatest feeling as a developing writer/critique is when you can pass your own growth onto someone else.
So here’s a question for you: What is your current growth spurt in writing/critiquing?