Thursday, December 3, 2009

Timing Is Everything in Life

Hi Everyone,
Sorry this post is a bit late. I was at an account that let me onto the internet for exactly ten minutes today...and, of course, my boss won.
I've been told timing is everything in life. Well, to an actor on stage trying to hit a mark or deliver a line with just the right punch, yes, I guess it is. Timing is also crucial to the success of a book. Now I know that Lill would never say this but I've been told by other editors never to keep secrets from readers. But what if you believe holding onto certain information will give your readers that extra WOW, if you do?
Boy, have I struggled with this one.
And that's when I turn to the people I trust the most (and it ain't my hubby). I turn to my critique group.
Everyone has some kind of network built up. You have to. Otherwise, it's your mother telling you you're the best writer since Hemmingway or it's your friend who loves to read the really hot parts but wouldn't know point of view if it bit (her/him) in the ass.
So what do you do?
First, you ask. You may get five different answers/opinions from five different people but you ask them anyway. Second, you listen. None of them may be right but don't dismiss them right away. Third, you incubate (sorry, scientist day job). Consider their ideas. What have you got to lose? Nothing except some of your time. What have you got to gain? A new perspective that might just be the key to making a superb book simply outstanding.
One of the treasures of having critique partners is sharing insight. They can see what you might not. They can give you a completely different twist to the problem you're having. They can point out the painfully obvious yet unlock a floodgate of creativity.
So what do you think? Can a critique group help you achieve the timing you're looking for? Can they help you create a better book?
I believe I never would have gotten where I am in my writing career without my critique group.
What about you?


  1. I think they can so long as you know your vision for a story. Every comment has to be judged against 'your story plan.'

    If you don't keep in mind your story then it becomes something else. And probably not so good.

  2. Critique partners are hard to get and often harder to keep. I've had several. Two great ones. Two were published before me. One is now multi-published and has far out-distanced me. She is still a fountain of valuable advice and information. The other was published first and I couldn't keep up. But now that I'm published and have increased my writing speed and hopefully, my skills, we've reconnected. And I don't know what I'd do without her! Others have been good, bad, or their work was too painful to read and their advice too horrible to take. And one, was my mom and she says I'm the best romance writer around. :)

  3. Great post. I agree, good crit partners are the best incentive - just like exercise partners. They motivate and keep us honest with our work.

    Nice post!

  4. Great Post Linda!!!

    And I agree.. Critique partners are a wonderful support and resource. It is something we editors constantly suggest.

  5. Critique partners do help with support and suggestions. Great post.