Today, I'm starting a series of blogs on critiquing.
Why do you need a critique?
Another pair of eyes spots problems.
Grammar and spelling problems are easily avoided.
Clarity problems -- Does a phrase or an event not make sense to another person?
Someone else can see the diseased tree when you only see the forest.
If you want only praise, let your mother or your best friend read your book. If you want honesty, get a good critique partner.
Critiquing someone else's work is good for your writing. By learning to spot others' weaknesses, you can more easily spot your own.
Explaining writing problems helps you understand them.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR AND WHAT TO AVOID IN A GROUP
Read the chapter starting on page 45 on critique groups in Holly Lisle's MUGGING THE MUSE. http://hollylisle.com/index.php/hollylislecom-free-downloads.html/ The whole book is free and well worth the download.
Marilynn's Workshop Schedule and Information Links
Writing the First Chapter, January 3-31, 2011.
Drawing a reader into the first chapter of your novel is more than an exciting beginning, more than a “cute meet,” more than a sexy hero and a feisty heroine. Step by step, I'll show you the craft needed to draw the reader into your novel and make her eager to keep reading. I'll also show you how to set up the goals for the main characters and for the novel.
Writing in the Moment, April 11-May 8, 2011
How to get your voice, viewpoint, and craft so perfect that you disappear and your story comes alive. Lots of worksheets.
The Blurb: Mother of All Promotions July 25-August 7, 2011
A blurb is the pithy description of your novel in a query letter, the short "elevator pitch" used at a writer's conference, the log line for online promotion, and the all important back cover copy for a published novel. Without a great blurb, a novel won't be noticed by agents and editors.
Marilynn Byerly--creator of a blurb system used by university publishing courses, publishers, and many authors-- will show you how to create that perfect blurb for your novel. The course will include a number of worksheets and in-class blurb analysis.