Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Problem Solving

Today feels like a good day for a piggy back post, so I'm going to go off of Deb's post about last night's CWC meeting. One of the best things about a critique group that works is that problems get solved. There are always problems in drafts, whether it's a character, a scene, or bit of dialogue, there are things that need fixing. That's why it's called a draft, right?

Last night I was on the chopping block for the 2nd submission of the Cass book, and I knew the gang was going to comment on one particular thing. As part of getting people where they needed to be, I had to figure out a reason for them to be at a funeral, despite it being dangerous for one of the characters to be out in public. I thought about it, and played around with it, and tried so hard to figure out a good reason to get them all there. The best I could come up with wasn't really a good reason, but I couldn't figure anything else out.

When it came to my turn to get critiqued, Jenny started. Basically, she said, "Yeah, this part... it's not working."

I said, "Tell me about it."

Then Shane said, "Well, what if..." And there it was, exactly what I needed. It was simple, it was perfect, and I never even got close to figuring it out on my own. Writers groups can be a beautiful, beautiful thing.

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