1. circ
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    circ New Member

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    Looking for an editing buddy

    Discussion in 'The Art of Critique' started by circ, Jun 30, 2013.

    Hi, all.

    I'm not necessarily interested in posting excerpts for general comments, but I'd love to find someone else who writes general/literary fiction and would like to exchange material in a more in-depth way.

    Let me know if you're interested. I look forward to meeting someone new.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i don't do 'buddies' but i do mentor aspiring/new writers full time and always have room for one more mentee, if that's something you might find helpful...

    love and hugs, maia
    maia3maia@hotmail.com
     
  3. circ
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    circ New Member

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    No, thank you.
     
  4. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Hi Circ - I'm not volunteering because I already have a couple of editing buddies. However, I certainly understand the need for one, especially if you write longer fiction.

    You might get a better response if you give us an idea of what you write, so you can team up with somebody who is on the same 'page' so to speak. Do you write novels, short stories? What subject matter do you choose to write about? Are there any particular authors you admire/dislike?

    While it's a popular notion that anybody can critique anybody's work, no matter what it is, I've found that it's most helpful to have a writing buddy who likes and understands the kinds of pieces you write, and will be happy with your own personal style. They will know what you're trying to achieve, and will be better placed to help you achieve it ...and vice-versa!

    Good luck.
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I would caution anyone to avoid a "writing buddy" relationship unless you've come to know each other for a bit. We used to not allow members to post such requests because of the harassment of one "buddy" by the other if he or she didn't hand back a fully edited manuscript.

    The site still doesn't encourage these private arrangements. If you get into such a relationship, it's at your own risk.
     
  6. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    I think you really need to establish your reputation and personal relationships with other writers before even considering asking about this process. You don't know about another person's skills, interests, or even trust. Like a romantic relationship, a writing relationship can only work once you form a mutual connection with someone.
     
  7. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Yes, Cogito, that's a very good point. I wish there was a way to establish 'writing buddy' relationships via the forum, rather than an exchange of emails. I've done the email exchanges in a few cases and had no problem whatsoever. In fact, I've made several really good cyber-friends as a result, but I'm fully aware of the risks.

    I did initially try exchanging long pieces with other members via PMs, but unfortunately the pieces lose their formatting when posted to the site. Bummer.

    Unfortunately, one of the biggest problems with this forum (and I don't know how to solve it) is the fact that you can't really post longer pieces or entire pieces for critique. The publishing-after-posting issue, and short online attention spans get in the way.

    While it can be helpful to play around with word usage, grammar and other writing problems inherent in short passages, what so many writers BADLY need is somebody to read a finished piece and give feedback. We need to find good beta readers. That's the only way to get specific advice on plot, story flow, pacing, overall character development, and all the other structural and continuity issues long pieces require.

    Ach well...
     
  8. blackstar21595
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    blackstar21595 Contributing Member

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    I disagree. I asked my creative writing teacher to help me improve my 7 page story for a writing contest. He only read the first 2 pages and the many faults he found were prevalent throughout the entire story. Once I made the edits, he got to the end of the story and said," It's a good, solid piece." I learned A LOT from that experience.
     
  9. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Hi Blackstar! There's truth in what you say, and I'm glad your personal experience turned out so well. It's true that many writing errors can and should be spotted and corrected by the author, not other people.

    However, not everybody has a creative writing teacher. And the important thing is, your teacher DID eventually read your entire piece.

    I'm glad he was happy with it, and you'd managed to fix any problems yourself. But—speaking hypothetically here—if he'd spotted a continuity error on page 6 during his second read-through, you'd have wanted him to point that out, too, wouldn't you? If he'd only read as far as page two, he never would have caught it. And if your story dragged a bit on page 5, he'd have missed that, too.

    Trust me. People like myself who write long novels can easily make these kinds of errors. For example, it's easy to forget a detail you included back in Chapter Three, when you're busy working on Chapter Thirty—especially if nearly a year has gone past between writing the two. I know when I wrote my first draft, I actually forgot a minor character's name and started calling him something else later on in the story! (My worst continuity error so far.) I was SO grateful that a beta reader spotted this for me! RED face, I can assure you!

    If you speak to anybody who writes—whether they write novels, novellas, short stories, or flash fiction— they all want somebody to read and give feedback on their entire story, once they've finished writing it. It's the finished product that counts, after all.

    We aren't supposed to post any finished pieces on this forum, because it would interfere with publishing them later on. So the only way we 'long-winded' writers are going to get feedback is by cultivating a few writing buddies. We really do need them!
     
  10. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Your writing teacher is NOT an anonymous stranger on the Internet.
     
  11. circ
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    circ New Member

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    Guys, I think we've gone astray here a bit. I'm not looking for a mentor, as was mentioned, or a writing teacher. I'm looking for something more akin to a drinking buddy with whom I can chat about work and prod one another about our writing routines. Let's ease back on the throttle a little.

    Yes, I'd like to exchange work and offer comments to one another. However, I think my editor will be happy to know he is not being replaced by an anonymous digital friendship.
     
  12. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    And like a drinking buddy it's a relationship that forms naturally and not through advertising. Keep meeting and hanging out with writers until sparks fly.
     
  13. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    That doesn't always happen, unless you're lucky enough to be living in a large nest of writers. The internet is the modern way to connect with lots of like-minded people.

    Yes, of course, internet friendships can be fraught with potential problems, as Cogito rightly pointed out. But the same things that govern new face-to-face friendships should govern the online ones as well. Be cautious at first, and don't allow yourself to be pressured, manipulated or bullied. Don't take people at face value. Analyze what they say and do. Just use common sense, and go slowly. The internet can produce fruitful and very pleasant connections.

    I think the more you put out there about yourself (not your personal contact information, obviously!) the more people will 'get to know you' online, and the relationship can develop.

    This was all I was asking of Circ, in my original reply. He should give us more information about what kinds of things he writes, his attitudes, etc. That's the way 'relationships' naturally form on the internet.
     
  14. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    The best thing would be, hang around on the forum, go look around at the workshop - get to know who people are and what people write - you can pick out the ones you find interesting and think would understand your work, or someone whose work you really admire - and start a few messages, see if you click with the person. If all goes well, you'll naturally develop a friendship :)

    Personally I'm up for chatting and discussing story aspects - I hate editing with a passion, so I don't make a good critique buddy - but if it were a plot point you wanted to discuss, I enjoy that kinda thing and I'm good at asking questions and organising ideas.

    As Jannert said, you'll have more luck if you posted up what sort of genre you write, maybe who's your favourite author, and just something about yourself. With these things, it's about chemistry, and we can't know if we'll get on if we know nothing about you :)

    @Blackstar - it's true short critiques have their merits, but the shortage truly is in having someone who'd read and comment on your entire piece. What then, when you've sorted out all the little details and common writing mistakes? A successful book doesn't rely only on how well you write, but also on the story, on build-up, on characters. The shorter critique, in my opinion, has merit for practising, for developing your craft. But when you're working on a project, such as a novel, flow and pace and build-up are of paramount importance, none of which could be critiqued by, for example, the workshop on this forum, not unless I post 100 pages' worth of work and that'd just be stupid. Basically, the shorter and one-off critiques become insufficient when the project is lengthier, and that sort of critique doesn't address other problems a writer come across and may need help improving. Novelists, especially, need beta readers, not simple one-off critiques on one scene out of a million, and as useful as these one-off critiques are, they're insufficient.
     
  15. Randonneur
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    Randonneur New Member

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    Editing buddy, you say?
     
  16. Robin Murarka
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    Robin Murarka Member

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    Hey Circ,

    I can share some stuff with you if you'd like, but I'm more interested in reading your work and giving you feedback on it. I like reading and critiquing.
     

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