The Art of Critiquing

WRITERS' RUMPUS

By Dana Nuenighoff

If you’re a writer, you know that critiquing is one of the many important steps in the process. You don’t just sit there and write out the perfect novel in one go. It takes months, even years, to form a manuscript.

Your first draft is the block of marble. It took you a while to haul that block back to your studio, to get it set up. Inside it, you can see the masterpiece it’s going to be. But editing is how you create that work of art, and critiquing is your chisel, your tool.

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Having a fresh pair of eyes reading your work helps to pick up on plot holes and grammar mistakes. Critiquers can point out when something doesn’t make sense even if, in your mind, it does. It’s not that your critique partners are trying to be mean. No, they want to help you…

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6 tips for using beta readers

Monique Hall

Before I had finished the third draft of my manuscript, I kept it from view in much the same way a vampire would shy away from the sun. Whenever someone would walk into the room, there would be a lot of hissing and flailing of arms attempting to protect the work in its infancy.

There came a time though, when I knew I needed fresh eyes on it. I knew the book wasn’t perfect, far from it. But I was at my wit’s end at figuring out how to make it so and, quite frankly, I was sick of looking at it.

Handing my manuscript over to my beta readers was not as daunting as I expected. I’ll admit, the first time I hit ‘send’ there were a few deep breaths and a bit of nail biting, but then it was a matter of sitting back and waiting for the feedback.

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If…

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