Tag Archives: back to school

Have Egg on Your Baby’s Face? Get a Critique Partner!

Moonday Mania

a blog on writing

Free Stock Image - Adorable Baby GirlI’m back in the classroom again. Since last year all I’ve taken are marketing classes so I can learn to promote Little Red Riding Wolf in the most effective manner I can. But I’ve been avoiding craft classes. Why? Because I was digesting 2010’s immersion in Margie Lawson‘s techniques that culminated in heading up the mountain to her Deep Immersion Class. And boy did I need to digest.

But I’m ready for more, so I’m signed up for Margie’s new class, Fab 30. In this class not only does Margie add to her phenomenal previous classes with great lectures, she also critiques thirty pages of your WIP. And there’s more.

One of the side benefits is that you get to work with other Margie Grads. It’s a little daunting to post your pages for all and sundry to check out and critique, but it’s a fantastic experience. Each person picks up on different things. Some people pick up on story flow and some on the balance of dialogue versus action. I’m enjoying putting my work out there and getting comments. Well, most of the time.

I’m one of those people for whom long distance critiquing works well for. I get time to digest and yell at my computer before sending back a modified response. Well, after all, it is my baby! And no one likes to have their baby criticized.But as an author, I have to say, I think critique is necessary. Not only do others catch things like repeater words or repeated sentences. They also catch the nuances that you thought were understood. In other words, reader confusion.

As authors we don’t have reader confusion. We know what’s in our heads, and we think we’ve done a good job explaining our thoughts to the reader, but that’s not always so. An unbiased reader will catch all those issues. For a published author you hope your editor catches all those speed bumps, but for a pre-published author you don’t want an editor to even see them. You want to send out as polished a manuscript as possible. And lets’ face it, even published authors these days don’t want to scare off an editor with speed bumps.

Do I love reading corrections to my manuscript, no, but I do appreciate them. Every question mark, every comment, every ‘Uh-oh, I really didn’t get this!’ is helpful. Even if it isn’t what I want to hear, it’s what I need to hear. That’s why I’m back in class, loving every minute of it, even when it’s painful.

Bring it on!

Do you use a critique partner? What about a beta reader? How do you get feedback so you feel confident that you can send your baby out into the world without egg on it’s face?


Filed under Moonday mania, writing craft