Now we’re comfortable with each other and trust each other. Critique group is an encouraging environment where we cheer each other on, help brainstorm, and have become friends. That doesn’t mean I take every suggestion. But I always consider them. My chapters are always better afterward. Sometimes it can get a little crazy—we get passionate about each others’ characters. We feel like we know them. One night after an especially lively session, I was driving home, trying to wade through all the comments and figure out what I needed to do to make the chapters stronger. I thought about how I went through stages after critique group. So, I compared them to the five stages of grief.
Five Stages of Critique Group Grief
Denial – My stuff is awesome the way it is. They just don't get it.
Anger – I can't believe they're finding problems after all the hard work, heart, and soul I put into writing this!
Bargaining – But see how if you know this, it makes it all work out. Kind of.
Depression – I give up. Everything sucks, and I worked too hard on it already. I don't think I can look at it again. It's never going to be finished.
Acceptance – Okay, it needs some work, and after some time brainstorming, I think—no, I can—do better. This is what critique groups are for; to get input and make my book the best it can be. It’s going to take some work, but I will fix this!
About the Writer: Cindi Madsen sits at her computer every chance she gets, plotting, revising, and falling in love with her characters. She has way too many shoes, but can always find a reason to by a new pair. She lives in Colorado with her husband and three children, and is a member of PPW and PPRW. You can check out her blog at cindimadsen.blogspot.com.