Monday, October 4, 2010

The Value of Different Perspectives

Recently, a one of my critique partners pointed out something about the events in the beginning of my latest novel that made her question its believability. Clearly, I hadn't thought about that aspect of story enough. It made me go back, think more deeply, and work out some changes to make the story stronger.

Why didn't I see it myself?

Sometimes I get so immersed in the story I can't see something that's right in front of me. Once I set up my story premise, I accept it and go on from there. I don't challenge it anymore. Even during revisions, when I stop and question everything from individual words to character motivations, I don't always see when one of the ideas isn't working or isn't coming through the way I want it. Hooray for my critique partners! They usually catch those kinds of problems. Thanks, writing buddies.

9 comments:

  1. Yes! Thank God for writing buddies! What would we do with out those extra sets of eyes? :)

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  2. In my last book, I had a character helping my antagonists, but I thought the character I wanted it to be was too convenient. I asked my friend who had been reading my book what she thought. She pointed out that it wasn't convenient at all and referred back to parts of my story to show me. I don't know why I didn't realize it.

    Sometimes, we do need those extra set of eyes.

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  3. As a matter of practice I really try to write a few scenes from a different perspective - just to catch nuances I've missed.

    Thanks for the great post!

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  4. You just get too close to your work--we all do. Extra eyes are great. :)

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  5. This is so true.

    I'm sure when I get ready to share my WIP with my crit partners, they will see many things that will make me go, "Duh, why didn't I see that?"

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  6. I'm the same way. Sometimes I have the craziest things going on in my story and it makes perfect sense to me but not to anyone else in my critique group. Yeah for critique buds!

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  7. Quinn, thanks for sharing. We often think of critique buddies as pointing out weak areas in our novels, but it's just as valuable to know when something is working (especially something we've been feeling unsure about).

    Christine, that's an interesting idea. I can see how a different perspective on an scene might help me discover something I hadn't thought about. I'm going to try that the next time my writing seems stale.

    Christina and Karen, it's so great to have people to notice those leaps in logic!

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  8. I've been trying to challenge my premises before I right! and even then I can talk myself into believing it makes sense!

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  9. Laura, I try to do that too. I'm spending more and more time on the thinking part of writing. But still, sometimes I think an idea works when it makes other people say "Huh? What is she doing here?"

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