Six impossible things

Posts Tagged critique

What I Didn’t Expect To Get For Free

Different writers get different things “for free” – that is, different techniques and skills come naturally to different writers. I learned this early on, but it took years before I realized that I needed to apply that knowledge to more than my own first draft, and years […]

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Surprises and Themes

A while back, I was talking to an Earnest Young Writer, who informed me with great intensity that the story she was writing had a Theme, and that she couldn’t do anything about certain objections she was getting from her beta readers because that would destroy what […]

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Finding and Feeding Critiquers

So LizV wants to know how to find critiquers in the first place, rightly noting that the last post I did has more to do with how you deal with them once you have them lined up. The short answer is, you ask people. The longer answer… […]

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Getting good critique

That last post of comments segues nicely into this one, which is about critiquing and being critiqued. Good critique is hard to find. There are several reasons for this, starting with the fact that “good critique” means different things to different people. Some folks want the proverbial […]

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Comments on Wolf’s snippet

Alright, last week I promised Wolf that I’d do some comments on the bit he used as an example. For those who didn’t see it or don’t want to go back and hunt it up, here it is:       “I’ve often wondered—why did your people send only […]

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Being professional before you are

This week, my walking buddy told me about an incident involving a mutual friend, who is a major tech consultant-type. Seems some gentleman who wanted advice on his algorithm offered to pay for two hours of critique/consulting time at a not-unreasonable-but-on-the-low-side rate. So the consultant-type agreed, took a look […]

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Blind spots

Every once in a while, I come across someone who has a blind spot for a particular major part of writing: description, emotions, action, internal monologue, or whatever. A lot of these folks think they can’t write because, without whatever it is they’re missing, their stuff doesn’t […]

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Critique vs. Collaboration

One of the questions I’ve been fielding for years, usually from knowledgeable non-writers, has to do with the similarity between being in a critique group and doing a collaboration. Sometimes it’s buried in the assumptions behind the question (“In what ways do your critique group members influence […]

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A Group of One’s Own

January of 2010 marked the thirtieth anniversary of the first time six would-be writers in Minneapolis got together and formed a critique group. Within five years, all seven of the eventual members sold, and six are still publishing (the seventh went back to his first love, music and […]

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On critiquing

Before you start critiquing someone else’s work, you are best off asking a few questions. Not questions about the story – usually, one of the things the writer is looking for is a fresh eye, a virgin reader, someone who has no idea what the story is about […]

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