Tag: critique

  • Whole Novel Critiques: Because It’s Easy to Write a Chapter, but Hard to Write a Novel

    Last month, I taught a Novel Revision Retreat at the Rolling Ridge Conference Center in North Andover, MA (see the photo album on Facebook), and I was reminded of the need for your critiquers to read your entire manuscript. Writing a chapter is easy. Really. Critiquing a single chapter tells you little about the story […]

  • Feedback: What a Critique Group can Do for Your Story–And It’s MORE than You think!

    Our local critique group met yesterday and it was an exciting meeting. Almost everyone sent the first chapter of a new project. That’s exciting. It means that the group is healthy, that we are collectively working hard on our stories. Critiquing Manuscripts I learn almost as much when I critique manuscripts, as when I get […]

  • I Don’t Want an Honest Critique

    Fear No, don’t tell me what’s wrong with this novel. I don’t want to hear it. Minor problems? OK, I’ll fix those. But major structural, plot or character problems? Don’t tell me. Cynthia Ozick says, “Writing is essentially an act of courage.” When I get an honest critique, my courage fails me. I fear the […]

  • Feedback on a Works in Progress: When, How Often, How

    When do you get feedback on a work-in-progress? Never, early, mid-project, as often as possible? Types of Feedback and When to Get Them Good early feedback Pat on back. Often what you need is just a pat on the back, someone saying, “Good job!” My local critique group does this by just asking people to […]

  • The REAL Goal of a Manuscript Critique

    When you do a manuscript critique at a conference, you must be ready to push for an answer to a crucial question; and you must have a back-up plan. I’ve been backstage at conferences, in the break room where the editors are gathering and chatting. I’ve heard them come back from a critique session and […]

  • Openings: And the Winner Is. . .

    Thanks to everyone who read and commented on yesterday’s post on story openings, in which I gave you twelve options from a WIP from which to choose. First, the informal survey hit some hotspots for some writers: “I would throw the ‘it was’ line in a lake with a stone tied around it. Sorry, I’m […]