Monday, December 13, 2010
Monday's Writing Tip: Utilize Another Set of Eyes
There's nothing like a second set of eyes (or a third, fourth or fifth pair) to help you shape up your manuscript!
It's amazing how wonderful something sounds to our ears after we've written it. And all the praise we receive from loved ones who've read it, is pretty great, too! But let's face it, writers need other writers to critique their work, otherwise, we're bumbling around in the dark, wondering why our manuscripts keep getting rejected.
If you're married to a writer, you have an advantage! But those of us who aren't so lucky need a writers group. If you don't have any friends or acquaintances that write, there are lots of critique groups available online.
If you don't belong to Writer's Digest online (think Facebook for writers), become a member--it's free! Different groups are available to join within WD online, and one is Critique Corner. There you can post your work and other writers will offer changes and constructive criticism.
Some writers have one critique partner, while others have several. I meet weekly in person with a group of five. I love having the benefit of all those different skill sets, and I know my finished product will be a lot stronger with all the fantastic input I receive!
In a group you'll see that someone might be great at line edits, while another person offers just the right dialogue. Brainstorming ideas is always fun, and formulating a better scenario or plot twist can come directly from your critique group.
When other writers read your work, you'll also find out if what you've written makes sense to begin with. And if it doesn't, your group can help you make it make sense!
Sometimes I think I've churned out a decent piece that can stand on its own. But then Lisa, my writing teacher/group facilitator starts peeling away the layers (some that I didn't even know were there) to show me how to create an even better scene.
After Lisa reads my work, I feel like I've written it looking through a peephole. It takes her to open the door and reveal everything else out there that's waiting to be said! She's amazing at digging deeper in a scene to bring it greater depth, feeling and clarity!
So, if you're currently floundering alone, join a critique group! The writing journey to publication is hard enough--don't go it alone!
Do you belong to a writers group or have a critique partner? If so, do you meet in person or online? Tweet me @: maria_mckenzie. Thanks for stopping by!