Critiques are best when served warm

Hello from Jann,
When you consider something from numerous perspectives you can easily see the whole picture rather than a tiny corner of your universe. This is why critique groups are an excellent way to get a broad perspective of your writing, which is a great way to prepare your manuscript before you have to pay for editing.

Critiquing is also a form of proofreading.

I found this doing some research:
You invest substantial resources such as time, energy and creativity in planning, creating and executing a content strategy to ensure your message reaches the audience. Sometimes, all that hard work can be marred by common errors or a small typo – how do you feel when you notice a spelling mistake in your everyday life?
One typo or error in your content, copy or communications can detract from the overall impression, or even change the exact meaning you are trying to convey. Mistakes, however small, convey carelessness, which may undermine your brand’s integrity and the reputation you have worked so hard to build.
The power of social media also means that your audience has a readily accessible and far-reaching platform on which to point out any misdemeanors. Within seconds, negative feedback can reach not just you but your entire audience. To read more: https://bit.ly/2FlxR3z
I’m a member of three critique groups. One in person and two online, in fact I’m the president of a children’s authors, online group. We meet once a month to read and critique each other’s manuscripts.
We begin with praise for the manuscript. Then gently give suggestions to the author, who quietly listens as people give their ideas. At the end, we give another positive comment. I love this method. As authors, we can feel good about our writing and not beaten up at the end of the session. I have always gotten great feedback to make my manuscript as good as I can get it before I send it off to my editor. This way I am saving money because the editor doesn’t have to work as much to perfect my manuscript.
In a critique group, you want to read the manuscript carefully looking for positive scenes as well as things that need help in grammar and punctuation. Next, choose your words carefully when giving your critique. Use “I” instead of “you” this will help the writer to see a different side of the story. If you find something that you just can’t grasp, give the author a suggestion as to how it can be more impactful. Maybe suggest the story needs more conflict to give it more interest. Be honest in your critique, but not hurtful. Your honesty can help the writer create a better story.
In essence, your critique group gives you free editing. Having others look at our manuscript gives new eyes and a fresh look at our words. We know what we want to say, but may not be saying it so that others can understand our vision. A new set of eyes can make our words clearer and more vibrant. We need all of the help we can get without having to pay for it.
So, being a part of a critique group will help you develop better writing skills. The comments that are made will show you how to better describe a scene or add more dialog to bring the reader into your story.
Being in a critique group is also networking with other authors. Don’t be afraid of someone stealing your idea. Most of the time, ideas aren’t stolen – and even if someone decides to do something with the premise you’ve come up with, it won’t be written with the same perspective that you have.
We need to network with other authors. In this we can support each other in our writing and in the marketing. You can’t write enough in your genre to supply the books needed for every reader. When you support another author, your readers are more apt to want to help and promote you as well.
There’s an article on Authors Community website that is wonderful. DiAnn Mills talks about why we need relationships with other authors. If you click here you can read the full article: https://bit.ly/2Fl7haQ
Our Sarah Tun has a great video on why you should be in a writer’s group: https://bit.ly/2M3vRO5
Read Writing Advice not Eye-Stabbing about Randy Ingermanson’s writing advice to himself before he became rich and famous. At least it’s the advice he would have given himself when he was young and inexperienced. It is from Jerry Jenkin’s blog. You get good at writing by following these three simple steps:
1) Write a lot.
The more you write, the more you’ll tune in to your unique voice and the better you’ll get.
2) Get critiqued occasionally.
You should never pay any attention to what your mother says about your writing, or what anyone who loves you says about your writing, because all those people are liars. You should pay attention only to people who know what good writing is and who also know how to critique bad writing. Many who know good writing don’t have any idea how to critique bad writing and will not be able to help you. To read the rest go to : https://bit.ly/2FrFLYj

We, at Authors Community, want to do the most we can to help our authors. You are all very important to us. We need your feedback in all areas of our community, to help make it grow as a loving community of Christian authors helping one another with our writing.

Please seriously consider joining a critique group. They are so much fun and such a big boost in our writing. The people I have critiqued with since 2010 have said that through these groups my writing has greatly improved.

God Bless,
Jann
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8 thoughts on “Critiques are best when served warm”

  1. I grateful that you have asked me to join your group, but I do not feel I can help you. I am very busy writing and promoting my own work and would not have the time to read other peoples manuscripts. That would be unfair especially if I submitted work to be critiqued.

    1. Hi Steven, When you critique in a group there would be a limit on the words for that session between 1,200 – 1,500 words. It would also be a session of about two hours with a live group. By sharing your manuscript you would get free editing and some gentle suggestions from your peers. These new friends will also be able to help promote your books to their friends and contacts. This would give you free advertising to a much larger audience.

  2. I have been in a wonderful critique group for some time now and I can honestly say it has taken my writing to a higher level. Even when I do not submit something myself for critiquing, I learn by listening to the critiques of others works. I have been writing on a regular basis for a local magazine and I always submit my essay to my critique group first. Their suggestions seem to polish my work and it is readily accepted when I submit it to the magazine editor. If you are a serious writer, you owe it to yourself to be in a good critique group.

  3. “You should never pay attention to what your mother tells you” (about your writing) – how true, how true.
    Mothers lack objectivity… it’s part of their make-up.
    Whether it is in the case of Barbara Streisand’s mom who said, “Go be a secretary” or
    another mom who praises their “perfect” child, we can’t get objectivity from Mom.
    So, let’s share our work for fair, considerate feedback. We’ll grow, our writing will improve and we’ll find friends.
    What more can you ask!?
    Thanks, Jann, for our helpful post.

    1. Thank you, Sarah. Working together we improve our writing, and we can promote each other on our social media.

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