I got another critique on my writing back from my live writers group. I wrote a flash piece that borders on erotica and has to do with Death and a borderline personality chick… I have had the widest range of feedback on this. A few people hate it, but none for the same reason, and quite a few people really like it or love it… none for the same reason.

I suppose I'm addicted to writing feedback. I've gotten to the point where I can sift through what is useful relatively well and take my punches… but I'm equally fascinated on how a story and its meaning changes based on the reader. I wrote in my own blog about considering demographics as a writer… but I want to add that writers should also listen to what different demographics think of a particular piece. One of the people who really hated "Manipulation," didn't get it at all… but she made some comments on sentence-level things that absolutely made sense.

The only truly useless critiques are those who say they love something and don't know why. Yeah, it's a great ego-boost… but its like a empty carbs. Sure you get a rush, but there's no nutritional gain.

When you write with another person, it also brings a different flavor - and a broader demographic on the composing in.

Chris and I were brought up with and follow different religions - so she noticed when I was overly Catholic-heavy in our novel planning. (On the other hand, I brought up a few things she didn't know as a non-Catholic.)

She also has family from a different ethnic background than I do, so she can draw on the Hawaiian/Japanese influences much better.

We also read different books and watch different movies, so our shared reading experience also makes for a richer background in storytelling.

Chris has kids; I work with horses. I grew up in New England, in a state where you can drive a few hours in any cardinal compass direction and be in another state (or the ocean); Chris lives in the west and grew up on the west coast… in huge states, with a different ocean, desert, and different mountains.

On the other hand, we're both Caucasian women of about the same age, in monogamous heterosexual relationships, working primarily in education, in approximately the same gross household income bracket, geeky sf/f/h/etc. lovers, cynics, with twisted senses of horror and beauty.

There are certain things we can be each other's critics for, and others we'll share the same blindness to… so, back to the critique/writing groups. J Our Shadow Guard/Fae Sithein world has had an overall strong response - and even fans! - but our writing has done an awful lot of growing - and continues to do so.
I'm curious at how far our shared experience and differences will get us in the overall quality of our latest endeavor. I look forward to it!

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About Us

We have a diverse, combined writing experience. I am a middle school English teacher and an administrator and co-administrator for various writing groups. Trisha is a freelance writer, editor, and online educator whose fiction appears in FANTASY GAZETTEER. Together we co-authored "Party Crashers” for the EPPIE award winning anthology BAD ASS FAERIES 2: JUST PLAIN BAD.

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