If I had to describe myself, it would be in a word that has many meanings with a complexity which falls off the tongue.
A word made up of many elements, is deceptive in appearance, and creates an illusion from the imagination.
My word would be Phantasmagoric. ~Summer Ross

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Word to the Writer: "Evaluation"

Here is step four in my series. I am posting it this Wednesday because tomorrow is my blogfest post. I hope you all don't mind.

 By now you are probably very sick of reading your own work. Here is where you can break away. After you have fixed simple errors, plot holes, and sentence structures, its the perfect time to submit to Beta readers or a critique group.

 There are Pros and Cons to letting other people read your work.

  •  Another set of eyes gives you a fresh take on your writing.
  • They have differnce in opinions so you get a broad range to work with.
  • They can help you fix errors that you missed because you are too close to your work.
  • Others can give you new inspiration and ideas to work with.

  •  You get alot of feed back inside a critique group that you have to decide either to change or keep.(remember to use your own judgment based off your story idea.)
  • They will tell you negative as well as positive if they are a good partner
  • People are finicky creatures and sometimes only see their side, or their opinion.
  • If you chose someone who doesn't understand the writing process you might get bad advice

Remember: they will tell you what they think as a reader.

How do you know if a beta reader or critique partner is any good?
 A good partner will tell you both the good and the bad of the piece.
 If the person says "its great i love it just the way it is" get a second opinion.
If the person says "I hate it you should stop writing" get another opinion

 Keep in mind not every one will love or hate your work, we all come with individual opinions- you are not looking for Justification- you are looking for ways to better your piece.

 After you have some critiques to work with then start revising again. During this process you do not need to take every single suggestion. Its important that you understand where your story is going, and if something is unclear you need to make sure you want to clear it up or keep it unclear.

 After you have revised, submit again, or submit as many times as you think you need.

 One good place I have been using since 2006 is www.critiquecircle.com
check it out if you are so inclined.

My final step comes next week titled " Metamorphosis"


Abby Minard said...

This is great info and I agree. I have 2 crit partners, and a crit group that just got started. I also have some beta readers set up that are teens, so I can get a good idea of what they think of my story.

Jules said...

Okay I know you have told me this but thanks for the reminder anyway!

I see you have been playing with the FONT pen. I like it. :D
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Angela Felsted said...

Great post! I need to check out that "critiquecircle" once my ego has healed a little more from all the present bruising it feels.

Angela Felsted said...

Does this comment field work?

Elena Solodow said...

Go Critique Circle! That's where I first honed my abilities as a critter - and developed the first layer of a thick skin.

gideon 86 said...

Good advise, Summer.



Cleverly Inked said...

Great post, I bet this will come in handy to many

Jen Daiker said...

Critiquing is very important. It allows you to bond with other writers, learn more about yourself and your work and give you that push you didn't realize you needed!!

I have a crit group that we just started. We will meet for the first time in February and I'm excited. I've had one in the past but wasn't completely ready. Now I am. At least, at some part of the game. One book is with a publisher looking to be signed but the next one the crit group will be involved in!

Old Kitty said...

I made the mistake earlier in my writing "career" to let everyone and anyone read my stuff!!! Talk about being very confused with the feedback!! LOL!! Now I just trust a handful to give me good critical and helpful feedback - so these points are always handy to know! Thanks too for the link - will check it out asap! Take care

M Pax said...

Good crit partners should be hung onto. Another set of eyes helps tremendously.

Carol Riggs said...

Great points. Some people ARE just looking for validation, so I find I have to be careful about offering "constructive" critiques. But you are so right--move on from the ones who are all negative or all positive!

Kittie Howard said...

Great post! I tried to register at CritiqueCircle, followed instructions, said I was registered, when I tried to re-register, they said I was registered and so it went...no place for Password on reg. form...can't find e-mail address for them. Is there anything I can do that you know of? Thanks!

Summer Ross said...

Kitty- when you first get to CC at the bottom of the login there should be a trouble signing in thing you can click on. I have never had any trouble signing in.

N. R. Williams said...

Excellent advice Summer.
N. R. Williams, fantasy author

Pk Hrezo said...

I like how you remind us not to take every suggestion... so important to learn to evaluate comments on a whole and use your best judgment!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I have two test readers who are awesome. They get my writing, and we'll ping ideas off one another.

erica and christy said...

Great critique advice! I still sting from the "Contemporary is so boring, I refuse to read any more of yours" critique I got, though. See you tomorrow!

B.E.T. said...

Definitely full agreement here! Finding the crit parter/beta reader is the hard part...

Summer Ross said...

Erica- that is an example of what not to do in a critique- the person who did that was being plain rude- remember who you choose should want to help not hinder.

Melissa said...

I'm just getting into the whole critique game and I'm really excited to see where it takes me.

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

I absolutely LOVE beta readers.I simply could not write without them.

Sonia said...

beta readers and cps are important, yeah. I'd heard of critiquecircle, but I don't think I've ever been there.

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