To Critique or not to Critique–that is the question.

Well, actually the question is whether or not to join an online critique group.

I’ve come upon that point in my writing where I’m getting great comments on my writing (as in personal rejections) but most of them are of the “not quite there” variety. And since these are pro markets that are doing the commenting, I’m definitely taking notes.

However, I’m also finding that I’m out of my league here.

Apparently I’m coming up with all of these meta themes unintentionally.

What this means is when I get an idea for a story it follows plot X.  However, another theme finds it’s way into the story (Y). The main problem is I don’t see Y until I get a comment on it usually from a market. For me it’s confusing because I’m just not sure what to do.

Should I go back and work on the secondary theme but lose the original impact of the first one? OR should I just leave it be?

Yes I know I should enroll in some workshops. If things go well I might be able to pick some up next year, but that doesn’t help me now with a story that I dearly love, but know it could be better.

Right now it has 5 rejections. Of those, I have 4 personal rejections stating that the story is close. All of those in pro story markets. I want to make this story better. I think a lot of people would enjoy it. My problem is:

I. Don’t. Quite. Know. How.

Yes I can write a story. And yes I know there are major and minor themes, and I tend to touch on several of them when I write. But this one, I’m not sure how to make it better.

I’ve received some great comments from beta readers, but I’m not sure they ring quite true. I’ve even revised it. But I’m not quite happy with it. I just don’t know where to take it from here.

So I’m considering joining an online critique group. Perhaps this will help me acquire the skills to look at my work critically and see those little meta themes that get plugged in. Perhaps it will help me make my writing better.  Or perhaps it will waste my time.

I don’t know.  That’s why I’m asking you.

Have you had any experience with an online critique group?

Was it good or bad?

Are you still involved?

Did you find it useful?

Thanks in advance for answering.  I really appreciate it.



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