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Critique Circle: Seven years and counting.
My first attempts at writing came in the form of skits and plays for my church. They were fun and I had a blast writing them. I then moved on to work in a small private school, eventually heading the performing arts department and honing my skills.
While writing skits and plays was enjoyable, I longed to write novels, and did so in my spare time. Having no clue where to go from there, I invited myself into a small online critique group headed by L.K. Malone, one of CC’s own. Our small group consisted of a published author, an editor, a college professor, and me. What was I thinking?
Actually, I learned a great deal in the short time I was involved with the group, but it was L.K. who realized the need for a larger group. I have her to thank for introducing me to the wonderful world of Critique Circle.
I’ll admit that my skin was paper thin when I first signed on, and it took some doing to realize that most comments given were for my own good, and for the good of my writing. My biggest struggle was figuring out what advice worked and what didn’t. I came to writing without any training and found the plethora of advice overwhelming, but eventually learned to trust my instincts and my heart.
Through it all, I found some wonderful critique partners I’ve come to trust and respect. Do I take all their suggestions to heart? No. Do I stop and give them thought before dismissing them? Absolutely.
I ran my novel Broken Vessels through the public queue twice. Some of my original critters stuck with me through both, while fresh eyes gave new perspective the second time around. One of the things I appreciate most is how my work was never judged for its content. I write from a Christian point-of-view: no sex, no profanity, and there is always the mention of God. I do my best not to come across a preachy, so having people who might not share my outlook was a huge plus.
Over the years, I’ve come to know a lot of published authors, some through the traditional route, some self-published. The options for a writer are almost limitless these days. But no matter what route is taken, the key to success is good writing, which is where places like Critique Circle come into play. My book is far from a best-seller, but it was published, and I thank my fellow writers and critiquers for taking the time to read and comment, but mostly for helping me reach my goal.
To read the opening chapters of Broken Vessels you can go to http://lucieulrich.com/broken-vessels/sample-chapters/ or Amazon