i'm just a literary tease, my reputation's on its knees.

On Making Critique Groups Work for YOU!

February 19, 2006

John Warner, author of Fondling Your Muse: Infallible Advice From a Published Author to the Writerly Aspirant, writes:

“At some point, you will have to submit your own work to the group. While you know and I know that your stories are going to be light years better than anything they have to offer, the other members of your group might not be sharp enough to recognize this. Therefore, you need to tip the scales in your favor.

"First, rather than distribute your story on standard twenty-pound white paper, spend a couple of extra bucks and have it hand-boud and illustrated by Trappist monks. Your critique group will have a tougher time finding fault with a story that doubles as a stunning work of art.

"Second, hire a church choir to sing hymns of praises to your story – softly, in the background – as it is being discussed in your workshop. As your colleagues offer praise, the choir should break into louder exclamations of “Amen,” “Hallelujah,” and “Sing it, Sister!”

"Third, you want to create a disincentive to negative criticism. Prior to the critique session, kidnap one of the member’s pets or children. Have your hired thug hold the loved in nearby room. If a negative comment escapes, the thug will exert painful pressure on the loved one, causing an audible squeal. Soon, that group member will learn exactly what kinds of comments are appreciated and valued.

"Finally, make sure the food spread includes some delicioius, homemade chocolate brownies. Brownies put everyone in a more positive mood, particularly when they’re laced with top-grade hash."

Oh, man! If only I had read this sooner! My story's up for critique in class tomorrow morning (yikes!) and the church choir's all booked up. Brownies might work with the chocolate-flavored theme of my story... hmm...

Moira at 10:54 PM :: Comments (0) :: « :: »
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