1. AJSmith
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    AJSmith Senior Member

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    Writing Critique Groups

    Discussion in 'The Art of Critique' started by AJSmith, Mar 9, 2011.

    I'm not quite there yet, but when I get there I want to know what to do, so...

    How does one go about getting a person or people to critique a manuscript?

    Is there an organization for it or do you just find acquaintances to look at your work?

    Do you have separate people critique for readability/holes in the plot vs. editing?

    I am assuming I need to make all my desired revisions and edit to the best of my ability before I even ask someone to critique my work... does that seem right?

    Is it best to have one person at a time looking at your work, or several?

    Because I'm a teacher, I'm hoping to utilize some extra time this summer to get my draft revised and edited, so I'd like to know how to proceed with the assumption that I will be ready for a next step by fall.

    Thanks!
     
  2. bekajoi
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    bekajoi Senior Member

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    I edit and edit some more, and then try and get friends who write to look it over. I get ideas and find errors I missed when skimming over by myself, fix those, then share with other people (again, who like to read &/or write)~ I find people who are able to write themselves or do a lot of reading make for better critics.

    Also, finding people who will be objective is important. Family and friends can be overly nice, and that's the opposite of what we need when in the editing phase. We need people who can say, "Hey, the flow here is choppy, it might sound better if...", who will tell us when something doesn't work well for them and be able to explain why, etc.

    Sometimes one person can do both pretty well, editing-wise. Other times you will need to find one person for the grammar and spelling and one person for the plot issues. Depends who you find to help you.

    As for an official place to find local help, I'd look for a local writers group or something along those lines and go with that. Otherwise, there are sites like this, but in my experience, they can be hit or miss. It all depends who you get to read your work, and not everyone will be able to read everything.

    You could set up a blog for critique of your own work and invite people from here (or wherever) to read and help you, after they have been of good help to you in the past.

    But all that being said, do the best you can. There are editors at the publishing companies that will help by at least a little bit, but you do want a polished-as-much-as-possible product before you send it off. Just saying there will be things the editors will want fixed, no matter how much work you put into editing.

    Ramble enough for you? ;)
     
  3. Manav
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    Manav Contributing Member

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    That's the most important thing to remember no matter where you are getting the critique from. You should know which one is a hit and which one is a miss. Absorb all critiques, ignore which are not helpful, incorporate which are helpful. You just have to know to do that, there is no escaping it. Towards that end, it is helpful to post in sites like this short stories, excerpts, really anything you have written. You'll get to learn to take in critiques.
     
  4. xfilesera
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    xfilesera New Member

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    You have to be careful about stifling your voice. So to write an effective poem you constantly have to flip back and forth between your impassioned self and your detached self. It can be a grueling process, especially in a long poem. I'll tell you the story of how I came to this way of seeing poetry.
     
  5. xfilesera
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    xfilesera New Member

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    You have to be careful about stifling your voice. So to write an effective poem you constantly have to flip back and forth between your impassioned self and your detached self. It can be a grueling process, especially in a long poem. I'll tell you the story of how I came to this way of seeing poetry.
     

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