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Monday, August 31, 2009

When we share shoes...

...we can learn a great deal. This is the best thing about critiquing. Quixotic over at Step 1: Write, Edit, and Revise, had this great post about what effect critiquing others work has had on the way she looks at her own work. Her observations are accurate, and could easily be applied to my own experiences. As I mentioned here, I recently sent my ms to two beta readers for whom I am reciprocating, and I have joined a crit group which starts up tomorrow. This has prodded me to do a series of posts on critiquing. I'm no expert, so please, read on at your own risk. For today, all I have to say is this: critiquing others and having others critique my work has been the best thing I've ever done as far as my writing goes. What about you? Has critiquing and being critiqued been helpful to you? Okay, more on that later. Today, I have an award to pass on. My friend Rae over at Weather Vane gave me the Splish Splash award. To find out what it's all about, go visit Rae, but basically, it's for those who have dazzling blogs. Thanks for the compliment, Rae. Now, I get to pass it on to nine other dazzling bloggers. 1. Jody Hedlund at On The Path 2. Cindy Wilson at Cindy R. Wilson 3. Jennifer Major at Major Musings 4. Anna Morrison at Anna C. Morrison 5. Suzanne at Tales of Extraordinary Ordinariness 6. Fiction Groupie at Fiction Groupie 7. Tabitha Bird at Books, Bubs, and Writing Blabber 8. J.B. Chicoine at J. B. Chicoine Work In Progress 9. Kathryn Magendie at Tender Graces Thank you all for brightening my day!

28 comments:

storyqueen said...

I always want to know, when I give a critique, what it is that the author wants to know. Because, really, I can only bring my own experience as a reader/writer to the table, and because I am human, my opinion (like everyone else's) in inherently flawed,

What helps me most on the receiving end of critique is to know what questions my book generated for the reader. This helps me know when I wasn't as clear as I thought I had been.

Good Luck!

Shelley

jbchicoine said...

Thanks Susan…I guess I never associated the word ‘dazzling’ with my blog. Mostly I think of it as utterly self-indulgent (okay, well, there was that one post on embedding hyperlinks, but I think I was only patting myself on the back—again, self-indulgent. I think I should start a self-indulgent award…[I digress; again, very self-indulgent])
Anyway, thanks for the nice award.

Oh, and regarding the beta-reader/critique thing—I think the whole process is awesome!(I would have made this remark first, but that would blow my self-indulgent cover.)

Weronika said...

Critiquing rocks and is helpful and is one of the main things that I recommend. The best thing about it? You can get it for free!

quixotic said...

Hey, thaks for the link! Critiquing has been so helpful in improving my writing!!

FictionGroupie said...

Thanks for the award! :)

Like you, I'm just delving deeper into the beta reading/critique group thing. So far, it has been enormously helpful. Feedback is invaluable, especially when it comes from fellow writers.

Kristen Torres-Toro @ Write in the Way said...

Congrats to all!!!

I'm about to dive into that scary (but wonderful) world of critiquing myself, so I'm really curious as to what you have to say!

B.J. Anderson said...

Congrats to all the winners, and good luck with your new critique group!

Stephanie Faris said...

Being critiqued was helpful...to a point. It's important to find a critique group full of writers who enjoy reading the genre in which you write. I was in one with a historical writer, an inspirational writer, and a writer of dark suspense. The dark suspense author had an obvious disdain for romantic comedy, which was what I wrote, and she found my writing "shallow" and never hesitated to say so.

Karen said...

It took a lot for me to start sharing my work. I was always really shy about my writing. Now, it's not such a big deal. My two fellow writers in my tiny writing group have been so encouraging and supportive that it's made a world of difference!

Strange Fiction said...

I suppose finding critique partners that fit is the key but every bit of advice along the way is useful in some way...

Congrats to you and all the Splish Splashers!

Janna Qualman said...

Congrats on the award!

I feel a new energy when I've looked at another's work, and it rolls over into my work, too. That can't be bad. :)

Lily said...

Congrats on the award!

I dread the beginning of the critique stage. I try to tell myself otherwise; but I know that the first few negative comments will probably be tough to hear. My ms is my baby... it's personal. I'm assuming (and praying) that I'll get over that pretty quick!

Beth said...

Looking forward to the next posts. I'm not in a critique group, and don't have a partner yet either, so this will be a good intro for me I think!

Glynis said...

Well done on the award.
I am not in a critique group, I have a writing mentor.

Jody Hedlund said...

Looking forward to hearing all of your insights about crit groups. I'm not in one anymore. I was, but it took too much time and so I opted to have an editor read my work instead. And just like you said, getting objective feedback was the best thing I ever did!!

Thanks for the award! I appreciate your vote of confidence! Have a great day!

Danyelle said...

Great topic. :) I've learned more about the mechanics of writing from critting than I ever did from just writing or reading about writing. I think it's because the nature of critting forces one to analyze the piece. Critting is also helpful in the friendships that can blossom from it--especially when one's confidence levels are down (or too high ;-)).

Nancy said...

My favorite critiques are from children. One wanted to know more of what my character looked like and circled a missed typo.
Another child liked my novel and did a book report on it for school. I find these kinds of things helpful as they are my audience.

Solvang Sherrie said...

Ha! I wrote about critiquing today too!!

I am so thankful for every critique I've ever gotten. I've been really lucky to have good input from a lot of different people. Each critique had value. They'll all be listed in the thank you section when my novel hits the shelves ;)

Cindy said...

I've learned a lot from being in a critique group. In fact, I think I've grown as a writer more in the last few months with my group than I have in entire years past. I agree with what Stephanie said above to a point. It is important to get a good group. People you trust, people who are honest, people who can look at what you write objectively.

My group is amazing. I learn from reading their work and from having them read mine. It's be a wonderful experience so far.

Thanks so much for the award! :D

Anna C. Morrison said...

Thank you! :-) I will have to actually post something today in an attempt to dazzle. Critiquing is essential, that's all I have to say about that, both for others and for yourself.

Eileen Astels Watson said...

Congrats on your award, and you are so right critique groups are instrumental in helping a writer grow. I look forward to hearing all that you learn through yours.

Rae said...

I would imagine it would be helpful to critique others. You learn from them as well as being able to offer them assistance.
Glad you liked the award.

Heather Sunseri said...

Congrats on the award, and congrats to the bloggers you passed the award to.

Good luck with your new critique group. I'm really excited to hear how that goes for you. I would love to join a critique group, but I don't see how I can give it the time it deserves. I'll have to do something soon, though.

Jill Kemerer said...

Oh yes! Critiquing has improved my writing. It's forced me to analyze what does and doesn't work in other people's prose. I can't help but apply it to my own afterward.

Dawn VanderMeer said...

I've learned so much from my critique group. We all have different strengths, so it's interesting to see what snags one another. I think finding the right match is very important.

Editing others' work and being edited are both beneficial. Sometimes it's easier to see something in another person's manuscript.

Jenna Alexander said...

Is the critique group you are joining face to face? That is the one format I have not tried yet. Too scary for me

On line friends have been very helpful thus far in my newbie writing experience.

Jenna

Patti said...

I think critiquing, although hard, is the best thing you can do for your book. I would love a critique group to work with, but alas I don't know too many writers, other than on line.

Good luck with your group.

Lori said...

Good luck with your critique group and congratulations for the award.

I am going to check the blogs you nominated now.