Friday, October 22, 2010

Critique Partners

This is a fun little clip about how taking a critique is for writers. If we are open-minded and willing and ready to learn, we will go far. But if not, we won't grow.

How do you take criticism with your WIP?


  1. I have 2 crit partners for my current wip and I know my novel is going to be a hundred times better for their input. I admit my first reaction to their comments is sometimes, What?! But they are usually right on.

  2. A friend and I just started to critique each other’s work about a month or so ago. I have to say, it is invaluable.
    The enigmatic, masked blogger

  3. It was awkward at first, but my test readers helped so much with dialogue I no longer balk at their suggestions.

  4. I have an online crit group and two ladies I meet with every other week. I love it. I know my book will be pretty and shiny when they are all done picking it apart. I really don't get bothered by their comments, since it almost always makes my book stronger. Having a critique group is seriously something I think everyone should have. It's helped SO much! :)

  5. Pretty good analogy there, and funny video! I am diving into critiques this weekend, so it is good to be reminded to LISTEN even if I FEEL like I don't really want to...

  6. Yeah, taking crits was tough at first, but it helped me out SOOOOOOOOO much that I WANT people to rip and tear--it makes the whole manuscript that much better! :D

  7. That was a cute video. Good advice too.

  8. I have a lot of crit partners, both online, and in real person...but I have to admit my urge to defend comes out no matter what type of comment I get.
    This was a funny post..thanks!

  9. :-) What a fab and sensible vlog clip thank you!!!

    It's such a skill giving good constructive criticisms and even more so listening and acting on them! :-)

    Take care

  10. Hi, Marcy! Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving your comment. I do love my critiquers. I have to admit it was pretty hard at first. And yes, it is hard sometimes now. I also feel duped when my MS comes back with hardly any 'bleeding'. ;)

    Hi, Mask--that's wonderful! I'm so happy you've found someone you can trust your work with. It's so refreshing to have someone in your corner. :)

    Alex, that's wonderful. We need to develop thick skins as writers because we are always having our work critiqued. Yeah!

    Chantele! Yes, you are right! Crit groups are vital to a writer's career. How else can we grow and become better at our craft?

    Hart, good luck! I'm right there with you. I've been submersed with edits for the most part of this year and it's still slow-going. It'll be glorious when I reach "the end"!

    Laura--I hear you! I want that too. I don't want to be coddled. I won't grow that way. Thank you!!! <3

    Hi, Holly! Thank you! Have a great weekend! :)

    Raquel! That's great that you have tons of friends who can crit your stuff. Don't you just love having that? I do. I know what you mean, I feel as if I need to justify myself sometimes. Grrr...

    Jennifer! :) Thank you, I loved it when I first came a cross it. You are so right, I know. Thank you! :)

  11. I've been in a couple of online critique groups. I try to value each comment and understand where it's coming from even though sometimes it's tough to take. Sometimes I need to set it aside for a while and come back to it later with a clearer mind.

    Big learning point for me, though, is that I can't possibly please everyone and that I have to remain the final authority on my own work. Sure, a lot of comments are the no-brainer kind, like example C, but some are more matters of opinion, and when you get a bunch of critiques on a piece there's a lot of contradiction to sort through.

    Aside from a thick skin, panning the gold from the grit is one of the fundamental skills of receiving critiques.

  12. Botanist, hello! That's very important to know when the line must be drawn to your work because you are, after all, its creator. There are times when I've lost myself in the seas of comments that I've lost myself and even my voice for trying to please them. Well-said about panning the gold from the grit. I LOVE that! <3

  13. I've had the same problem as Botanist. I joined my 1st critique group six years ago, and I thought my WIP of the time was close to publication. The group gave me so much more to think about that I started to put their opinions above what I *knew* was accurate. The next critique group I joined (looking back) was too easy on me. But I think it's what I needed after the 1st group inspired a rewrite that turned a fairly straightforward story into a lengthy convoluted mess that I *finally* realized needed to be redone (again) to return to the focus I had lost in my need to please others.

    For me, I've needed to learn not only what the rules were, but "why" in order to know when to apply what others are suggesting and when to stand up for what I've written. I'm a bit of a push over, anyway :P

    I have a good critique group now, but I have learned who to listen to for what advice. One of my partners is good with grammar, can spot contradictions and logic that I just didn't see. A second partner is good at identifying issues with character building and the reality/unreality of dialogue.

    Sometimes...for me holding discussions of why something isn't working and having people present ideas to fix it can get my brain rolling in the right way. Even if I go in a completely different direction, sometimes the potential solutions make the issues I need to correct more identifiable.

    But I also think it's important to be self-critical (though I admit I can go overboard here) so I can know my own weaknesses. I'm terrible at description :P So I tend to assume my critique partners are right whenever they spot the need for clarity.


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