Beta Readers and Critique Partners: Listen to them, listen to yourself

currently playing on my iPod: Black Water by Apparat

Writers, take advantage of online critique opportunities. The honesty may prove challenging to swallow at first, but it will improve your writing. Other people see what you do not. You are close to your writing. You may be pulling weeds in one scene and not realize that a vine of tangled narrative flow is choking the entire manuscript. Critique opens your eyes to the problems and oftentimes helps you find solutions.

Giving critique also improves your craft. It is easier to see mistakes, confusion, POV slips and so forth in other peoples’ work than it is in your own. And if you develop the ability to zero in on and suggest fixes for these issues, you will become a stronger writer.

Plus, it’s fun!

Through critique, you engage with people who share your passion. If you’ll forgive the cliche, it fuels your fire for writing. So, take a chance and get involved with your local writing community or any number of online groups.

YA lit chat hosts a group entitled First Pages, a crit group that will read your first five and give you honest feedback. Many blogs, Miss Snark’s First Victim for example, feature varying critique opportunities where a writer can receive comments, ideas, and suggestions on premises, loglines, first pages, and scenes from fellow aspiring writers, published authors, and even editors and agents from time to time.

So remember: triumph begins with “try” and ends with “umph!” Get to work!

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