Time to start other projects

My critique group meets Friday afternoon. There are five of us, so I have four submissions to go over. Maybe I can do one every evening.

If I plan it right, I can still do some more editing before the weekend. I’m a little nervous this go round. One of the fellows submitted some poetry this time.

I’m not a poet, and just don’t get most of it. (Did that rhyme?) He’d be better off asking almost anyone else. The last time I read any poetry I understood, it involved Sam McGee in ’73. (That’s 1873) Okay there was a brief flirtation with girls from Nantucket. Oh, and a short bastardization of The Raven for a blog post about the raven named Doubt.

The point is that I’m out of my element here.

I’m torn between just admitting it, and giving my best effort. I’ll probably do a bit of both, but I need to confess up front for fear of doing any damage. He’s going to give me his best effort, so I owe him something.

I’m fairly certain I’ll work up all the other submissions first, ’cause that’s how I roll. That way I can dedicate more time to whining about it. No sense spoiling a good funk by doing it first.

What about you guys? Do you ever go outside your strong zone with beta reads or critiques? Are any of you romance writers who critique war stories? Science fiction buffs that get asked to critique erotica? What do you do about it?

16 Comments

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16 responses to “Time to start other projects

  1. I like to get input from people who might not go searching for my genre (whatever that is at the time). Maybe I take what they say to heart, maybe I don’t. Some of the most valuable advice I ever received was from a fellow who as a rule never, ever reads fiction and certainly not anything resembling the Victorian romance I was working on. So you just never know. Even if you hate the stuff you can still contribute on some level.

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  2. I’m glad my critique group is huge. I’ve stopped asking just anybody for a critique. First I ask if they are comfortable with the genre. It started with this:
    http://www.amazon.com/review/R1359JIGW3SKKO/ref=cm_cr_pr_perm?ie=UTF8&ASIN=0989568695
    Mind you, I am not being critical of the reviewer. Everyone is entitled. Just thought you might give a good empathetic laugh at the way this was worded.

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    • Wow! Those kind of reviews are best shared privately. I have a couple myself. We have a small group, and everyone reviews every submission. We go over them at our monthly meeting. I can’t dodge this responsibility.

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  3. Going out of your comfort zone is a great thing. I was out of my element during a Creative Writing course where most people didn’t write science fiction or crime fiction. It was a refreshing experience, especially when you keep your eyes and mind open.

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  4. I can’t do i. If I’m out of my realm of likes, I lose attention quickly. ๐Ÿ™‚ Good luck!

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  5. The best critiques will come from someone who’s both well-read my genre and well-read in general. Omnivorous readers with an eye for the elements of good fiction, in my opinion, make the best critique partners. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  6. Hello! I wouldn’t want to be in your shoes right now. I love horror, dark fantasy, sci-fi and suspense/thriller so those are the genres I enjoy reading and reviewing.There are certain genres I just can’t get into. I was asked once to review a romance novel, and it took me forever to read it. It was like torture. I’ll never do it again. I just don’t think you can give a fair review or critique on a book who’s genre you don’t like. It isn’t fair to the other writer.

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  7. I guess you just tell him that you’re not an expert but that this is how you see it. For a group I will go outside my strong zone and give my twopennorth for what it’s worth. But I won’t usually beta read something I know nothing about. As a writer feedback from anyone is helpful, even if my stuff isn’t their thing. So just hold onto that I guess.

    Cheers

    MTM

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