Time to smuggle candy in our big ole bags and eat puppy chow in the theater. Once, we brought a jar of nutella and pretzels, dollar store cheetos, chips, pop, and Skittles**. We are THAT cheap.
Okay, critique groups. So I went to one that meets on campus. And here are things that I observed.
1) I am the youngest one there. I'm not that surprised, but aren't there any college people who write? Maybe? Maybe not? Okay, I'm just a freak, I guess. But they were all really nice. Very, very nice to me. I sat in and listened to people read stuff out loud and everyone else listened intently, took notes, and offered praise and criticism. Which leads me to my second point.
2) I suck at listening. The first story, I found myself continually wandering off oooo, look at the pretty pattern on the wall, wait what? and losing track of where the story was going. I had to pay serious attention and visualize the whole thing in my head. It also didn't help that, you know, I had missed previous chapters, but still. My listening skills blow. I do think that reading aloud is a great thing to do in a critique group. It's good for the reader to catch problems they don't see on the page and for listeners to...listen. Everyone likes a good storyteller.
3) I apparently missed the memo on writing styles. I do not write literary fiction. I LOVE reading literary fiction, but geez, I'm not good enough to write that kind of stuff. I write action-based plots, fast-moving dialogue - contemporary fiction. Everyone there writes literary fiction. Which is fine, really. I love hearing how the language paints pictures with slow brush strokes. It's soothing and beautiful. But this is not something I feel like I could bring my stuff to (I didn't; it was the first time I went, and I wasn't about to be like HEY THUR GUISE I KNOW YOU HAVEN'T SEEN ME BEFORE BUT LOOKIE LOOKIE AT MY STUFF) because the styles are so different.
So I don't know if I will go back, but it was a great experience. Maybe one day, I will find a group that fits my needs. Until then, it's online for me.
I hope you guys have a great Friday - I have lost track of days since classes ended.
*I do not count Pixar as part of Disney, even though they are technically "one." Pixar, I always love. Pixar, I would have children with if it were a person.
**You know women carry big purses for a reason.