How about a word on crit work?
I remember when I first came into the blogosphere, I wondered about the "Crit Group" situation. I wasn't sure if I really wanted to share anything I'd written. Rejection sucks, even if it isn't from an agent or publisher. But when my friends asked me to be a part of their group, I knew I needed to do it & I was excited for the opportunity.
When I shared my first piece of writing, it made me physically ill! Yes, I was that nervous. Everyone talks about "getting thick skin" and I wasn't sure I wanted it. Well, I'm glad I got mine. You need it as a writer. You need to be able to take advice on your writing. (That doesn't mean that you need to do everything that everyone says) but advice and opinions are helpful to have.
So here are a few tips that I have learned from my favorite crit buddies:
- Be brave enough to be honest! You can't hope someone else will mention something. If you notice it. Say it.
- Constructive Criticism! Yes, it is possible to mention the flaws in someones story without being the worlds biggest A-hole! Your job is to help, NOT to kill their dream.
- Find their Strengths! Everyone has different strengths, so even if you're reading a really rough, first draft, be sure to mention what you like! Tell them what they're doing right! It helps so much to hear the positive, especially when you're taking in the negative as well!
- Suggestions! Sometimes my CP's will offer suggestions on a rough part. NO, we can't do this on every part that needs work, but it's okay to throw in your idea of a helpful sentence. Not only does this help them understand what you're saying, but also helps them to learn and get their writing mind on the right track!
There is always more, but these are a few of the biggest things that I've noticed from CP's.
** Also, if you haven't joined a crit group yet, I highly recommend you do. They are a strength to each writer! Each person in the group is a link in a chain. They all have different strengths. When you put them all together, they can help you see what you can do to make your MS clean, tight and polished!
What is your strength in writing? Are you great at characters, plot, editing, dialogue, etc? And if you want... throw a shout out to someone, and what strength they have that you admire! Share the love!
And be sure to hop over to FALLING FOR FICTION! They are talking about this same thing today and I got to share my input! Thanks guys! I love you all!