Critique a work in progress

critique a WIP

I joined an online critique group to gain reviews of my work in progress. I learned I had to earn the right to have my work critiqued by providing the service to others. This is an equitable trade.

I find writing a critique to be work. The hardest thing for me is not being able to immerse myself in the story. The second hardest is to remember this is not my story. I am not writing it. My final entreaty to the author is to make use of my comments as he or she desires.

I provided comment on three works before I submitted a piece. The comments I received were encouraging and comprehensive. The latter comments were what I wanted. I kept them in mind while I revised of my work in progress. I remember how I valued them when I do a critique.

not good enough-rewrite

The value of the critique group is the growth in my ability to see faults in my writing.  Such as, I love the word “that”.  I found I used it several times in the first chapter of my work in progress. I ran a search and found “that” 390 times in 50k words. *Sheepish grin.* I also found several telling words such as appeared, decided, felt, seemed, and thought. These require effort to replace. I have to find ways to show what I told which leads to new sentences, sometimes paragraphs of new material. The result, though, will make enjoyable reading.

I continue to give critiques. I gain something from every one I do.

Are you in a critique group? Have you been? What was your experience? Tell me in the comments.

 

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4 Responses to Critique a work in progress

  1. That’s wonderful. I cam imagine that getting a [good] critique would really help you learn how to give a good one. By ‘good’ I mean a well-written, helpful critique.

    • Dwane says:

      True that being part of this group is improving both sides of my writing. I have gotten mostly useful comments but one was less than useful. So, he is not one that I follow or critique. I try to give a useful critique and expect the same in return.

  2. Elizabeth says:

    So glad you found a good critique group!

    I’ve looked for one, but I have yet to find one. The handful I tried out, I ended up not ever submitting my own work.

    • Dwane says:

      I felt the critiques have been useful and appropriate. I will see if they continue that way.
      You have a beta reader which makes me jealous. I haven’t interacted with anyone who I am comfortable asking to read when I am ready.
      My work is between science fiction and fantasy. A difficult category.

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