The contractor is gone for the day, there is an apple cake in the oven, my critiques for the week are done and I have another hour and a half before the kids get home from school.
Time to write!
But first - a quick post for Writing Wednesday. Since I spent the morning doing critiques, I have that on my mind.
Writing is fun. Writing is largely a solitary endeavor. And it is very easy to become enamored of ones own turn of phrase to see if what is on the paper is very good or not. That's where a good critique comes into play.
For a long time a friend and I critiqued each others' work. Of course we knew each other so well - and our writing style's so well, that it was almost like reading your own - with the same pitfalls.
About a year and a half ago I joined a wonderful critique group (and now belong to two wonderful critique groups). They are both on-line - with weekly deadlines. It works very well for me.
Now I get opinions from a variety of people - each of whom takes a slightly different approach to the things they look for and critique on - which is great - because it truly gives a well rounded view point in the end.
I have learned so much about what works and what doesn't in my own writing and in others' and really think I am a better writer today because of the groups.
So - aside from singing the praises of these groups - what can I say about critiquing?
1) Don't be offended if someone isn't as enamored with your pithy wordings as you are. Take all criticism and comments in the spirit offered - a spirit of trying to help everyone do their best.
2) When critiquing offer all your comments and criticisms in the spirit of trying to help everyone do their best. (see #1)
3) Be specific. "It's all great" might make the writer feel good - but it won't help her improve. What things did you have questions on? What things did you think could be better? And also - what things did you love? Critiques don't only have to point out things that are "wrong" they can also (and should also) point out the things that are right. Everyone likes to know when they hit that home run.
Okay - that's all I've got for today. Off to do some writing!