Writers: A Love Affair with Torture

A while back, Miss Crankypants was sitting in her critique group, which meets weekly for three hours. That’s right. This bunch of writers isn’t content to stop when you’re so tired that the brain goes into hibernation mode. Nope. This venerable group of Advanced Writers stretches the limits of consciousness by finding jots and tittles to nitpick well past the noon hour.
What sort of person willingly subjects herself to three solid hours of arguing about capitalization, scenic action and whether a semi-colon should ever be used by anyone on earth? A crazy person, that’s who!
Now Miss CP has always looked askance at anybody who regularly attends city planning sessions–surely this person has chronic insomnia and uses C-span and other boring meetings to catch a few zzzs. And dental conventions! How could anyone get excited about talks on “The Root Canal and You” or “Extreme Abscesses?” (eew)
Then it dawns on dear Miss CP: attending a critique meeting week after week just might be some folks’ idea of torture. Which gives her a terrific idea: writers have the greatest weapon this side of Star Wars. Think of the terrorists we could target. Tie the dude to a chair and make him sit in on the longest critique group ever. Get the writer with that droning voice who always points out the misused punctuation to weigh in on a bad manuscript. Line by line. Before you know it, the bad guy will be screaming, “Enough already! I give!” The pentagon should be contacting Miss CP any minute.
And if the government doesn’t come calling, the torture-by-critique method will probably work on kids who won’t stop whining that there’s nothing to do. When Miss CP’s kids were little she could make her children run screaming for the swing set just by singing the soundtrack to The Sound of Music. A manuscript in dire need of critique could work just as well. “You can’t find anything to do?” the clever writer mama asks, whipping out her story and a red pen. “Well, have a seat, honey. And listen to this.”

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About Linda S. Clare

I'm an author, speaker, writing coach and mentor. I teach both fiction and nonfiction writing at Lane Community College and in the doctoral program as expert writing advisor for George Fox University. I love helping writers improve their craft and I'm both an avid reader and writer of stories about those with wounded hearts.

6 comments on “Writers: A Love Affair with Torture

    • Welcome to the blog of the most famous person you never heard of! Miss CP looks for ways to poke fun at the writing life–and sometimes takes topic requests. Thanks for commenting!~Linda aka Miss CP

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