Here i will share my journey of hopefully one day recognising my dream of becoming published writing what i love to read; Romance!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

To critique or not critique...

I've sent Billie and Cooper's story to my writing friend for feedback and she has been picking it apart. Line by line she is telling me where, as a reader she is lost, confused or if something just doesn't work.
Is it helping? Um, yes!

The way she has done it, with constructive feedback and even with examples of rewording, she is showing me where my weaknesses are and how i need to strengthen my story.
Mostly, it has to do with my characters. At the end of chapter 3 she has said there is nothing to make her love either character. Like, yes, but love with the driving need to keeping reading. No.

And that is the point. Every story needs to have compelling characters, something about them that makes you the reader relate or want to root for them.

So, after a bit of a sulk, i've gone back to the beginning and picked apart my characters and the story to make them stronger.

The best part? By helping me she has told me it has made her more aware of her own writing. She is learning from helping.
I found that critiquing Nicole's story that it made me think more about mine, the structure, characters, conflict, even the choice of words about my own writing.
Critiquing teaches you so much about yourself, both as a reader and a writer.

The challenge for the writer is to take the feedback, either made by someone else or by themselves while giving feedback on other writers work, and make their writing better for it!

So, this post could really be a writing tip. Take the time to critique someone else's writing - preferrably in the same genre that you write, but that isn't essential. It will help you become a better writer.

4 comments:

  1. Hi,

    You're wise to have "one" critique partner.

    More than that can turn a manuscript into a maze: in which you have little or no hope of writing your way out of.

    Mine is an academic, a prof of lit: who doesn't write novels but an avid reader of such. ;)

    best
    F

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  2. I can say that critiquing has helped me become a much better writer. I learned from those who critiqued my work when I just started writing and in turn I passed on what I learned. Apart from that, I've learned how to sift good/bad advice and use what works for me.

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  3. yes, J L the sifting is essential!

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  4. Critiquing or being critiqued can be tough - I'm still recovering from the critique circles I participated in at the CSSF, earlier this month.

    I do think that it's worthwhile to have more than one critique, so that you're not limited to one perspective. Then you can ignore anything that only one critiquer tells you - unless you want to pay attention to it!


    If you get a chance, check out a fellow writer's zombie story and help me make him wear an embarrassing shirt next year! It's the ultimate grudge match between social media and the zombies. Details are here:
    http://kelworthfiles.wordpress.com/2011/07/19/prove-the-zombies-wrong-social-platforms-can-build-readership/

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