Next stop? A magical land where respectful, authentic, and specific feedback flows like – I dunno, maple sap or something?
So – over at Stringing Words, we’ve started doing a Critiquing Month, or CritMo. I volunteered to organize it, since there were interested writers, but all of the usual SuperAdmins seemed to be a bit too busy to jump at doing the legwork this time. Though SW has had 2 CritMos before, this is also the first time I’ve participated.
So far, it’s been a lot of fun, and very instructive. The basic idea was simple – you sign up to contribute a certain number of excerpts, and you’re assigned to critique two other pieces for each piece you contribute, so that each excerpt has at least two assigned critiquers. Along with your excerpt, you provide some questions or notes for what sort of feedback you’re interested in, and then you read the pieces that you’ve been assigned to critique and do your best to provide good feedback.
By the way, when I was blogging about what makes a good critique in early July, I was already planning for CritMo – I believe I mentioned that at the time.
So, this time we’re doing week by week assignments, four week-long periods during the month of August, and the first week is nearly drawn to a close – it goes until Tuesday night. I’ve finished the three critiques I signed up for this week, (we agreed to try a variation where people can pledge to do a third crit in the hopes of getting a third crit on their own work,) and received one critique on the lead-in to a fantasy short story.
Here’s what I’ve learned so far:
Reading for feedback, and composing feedback, can be very hard.
In the end, it’s so very worth it.
However, I’ve been so focused on CritMo that I haven’t really started on the 3 longer pieces that I’ve agreed to do feedback swaps on. Oh well, I’ll get to them – and I didn’t promise a particular completion date to anybody at least.
And, as a followup to my saga of mixed-up reservations in Huntsville, Saturday turned out to be a non-event. I packed up all my stuff carefully to take to the new room, went to the front desk – and was told that they’d arranged things so that I could stay in the same room until Tuesday. Ah well, at least it’s a nice room, and no stairs out to the lobby,