Monday, August 25, 2008

Shredded to Perfection

I was just asked to be part of a critique group for the novella collection that recently sold. The moment I hear the words "critique group" I think of this picture - your work being cast into the shredder. :) And who likes pain after all, even if it is your story? But then I considered the many times my work faced the red ink of an editor before the advent of e-mailed proposals (now replaced by the dreaded red tracking of online corrections). And how much better the piece reads after others take an objective look at it. Pointing out those errors that even if you've scanned your work a dozen times, you don't catch them. Fine tuning it like a musical instrument so that the story sings. Bringing forth work that is the epitome of perfection.
Perhaps then critiquing is more liken to the scripture that talks of pruning. Getting rid of the gnarled branches to allow the fruit to come. Clipping off the redundant words, the lagging passages, the missplaced analogies. And what better way than through a critique group where other writers care enough to bring out the very best.
So take a pain pill and allow your work to be critiqued.

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