When you ask for feed back or a critique what do you normally get in response?
I think some people forget what a critique is. Is the character hard to like up front? Well okay, but the question should be does something develop that makes the heroine likeable later or maybe should something be added? Did you find word misuses or grammar issues? Great, point out the issues, but you probably don’t have to find each one unless you are being paid or have enough time.
For those in a critique group do you critique an entire manuscript or simply excerpts that the author has chosen as problem areas? Plot issues are a great piece of advice but unless you’re reading the entire manuscript this might not be something you should comment on. Remember to help the writer improve the story, don’t try to rewrite it in your own words.
Not everyone can edit or critique regardless if they love to read or write. Choosing people to help you can be very tricky. I had a critique group that had potential. The issue was that one lady was more advanced in her career which should have been helpful to us, but apparently we were of no importance to her. Another lady simply LOVED everything. It was a nice ego boost but wasn’t helping anyone grow as a writer. A third was helpful and I still talk to this person, but one person isn’t going to catch everything. I belong to a local writers group and the thing is, that not everyone is in the same place. In fact most are older, 50+, just starting out because they now have the time. That isn’t my target audience.
What advice do you take? What do you ignore. How did you find the group you trust?
I take what I can out of each conversation and I just make sure to not let any scathing reviews hurt me. Bruises are inevitable, but you just brush it off and move on.
For those with kids or dogs, writing advice is closely related to that of unsolicited parenting advice. Annoying, and inevitable, and generally not helpful. One in awhile those someone says something that makes your writing just a little bit better.