Monday, June 06, 2011

Three Tips for Monday

Redphoto © 2006 Crystal | more info (via: Wylio)Today's three tips for Monday centers around critiques. Critiques can be so helpful when we want to take our writing to the next level, when we need an objective set of eyes.

Good critiques are worth their weight in chocolate. But how do we go about finding a good critique?

Here are three possibilities:

1. Pay for one. There are many critique services out there. One caveat. Get referrals. Do your homework. Anyone can hang out a shingle and say they're a critique service, but not everyone has the expertise you're looking for. See if you can submit a sample for critique before you pay to have an entire novel worked on. And be sure exactly what the price will be. Is it by the page or by time?

2. Contests. Search out reputable contests that offer at least two judges for your entry. Some, like the ACFW Genesis contest offer three first round judges. If your manuscript makes it into the second round, you get three more judges. That's a lot of critiques for the price.

3. Critique partners. This one can be tricky. I've been in some really good critique groups and I've been in some...well, not so good ones. The key here is to make sure you all understand what you're looking for in a critique, and that you can trust each other's motives. The last thing you need is a critique partner with a vendetta, or one that knows everything, and can dish it out but can't/won't take it. One great place to find critique partners is through blogs. Form relationships with bloggers who are on this writing journey with you, and when you find one you sync with, explore the idea of trading critiques. Again, be clear on expectations.

I have two great crit partners who are so savvy and don't let me get away with anything. A big shout out to Georgiana Daniels and Katie Ganshert.

Do you have a critique partner/group? Care to give a shout out here?


  1. I owe a lot to those who've reviewed my work. Shout out to my group and to others who've stepped in and been willing to read my work.

    ~ Wendy

  2. I highly recommend Susan May Warren and Rachel Hauck at My Book Therapy. When I couldn't figure out why my story wasn't working, I brainstormed with them. They helped me see what was wrong and showed me how to fix it. That novel will be on shelves in November.

    I prayed for a long time for a solid critique partner and found one through a friend. Her strengths are my weaknesses and vice versa. We help balance each other out. I truly appreciate the time she gives me. My current WIP is so much stronger thanks to her feedback.

    Great list, Erica!

  3. I am blessed with two critique partners. One is multi-pubbed and offers more of a mentoring relationship, author Colleen L. Reece.

    The other is someone I met online thru blogging/twitter. We met in person at our regional writers conference and decided to swap chapters. I'm so glad. She provided insight I needed and by critiquing her chapter, I noticed some points in my own work that needed strengething.

    I think in any critique it's important to point out the good and the bad. I like to know what's working and what isn't. Plus, the good helps take the sting away from the bad.

    Thanks, Erica.

  4. A shout out right back at you!! You're such a blessing to me, Erica!

  5. I haven't paid for a critique before or entered a lot of contests but I've learned a lot from my critique group - more than I ever could have learned on my own. My group rocks, thanks guys!

  6. I do so love being your crit buddy :D Our relationship is priceless!

  7. I am blessed and thankful for my crit partners. I found them all online.

  8. Through the years I've been blessed with several wonderful critique partners. I praise the Lord them all often!

    I've missed visiting here, Erica! Hope all is well in your world.

  9. Great advice! I joined a critique group almost a year ago. But, it disbanded a few weeks ago.

    I learned a lot from the group and we all learned how to critique better. I also discovered a key to a critique group is to listen to the needs of the members and when a member leaves, try to fill the space, otherwise it dwindles away.