The Connection: Author, Editor, and Critique Partners
I have a number of critique partners/friends. Each of my groups works together with the main goal of helping the others to find publication. The focus of critique groups differs based upon the needs of the members, but I have always been fortunate enough to find diversity in my partnerships, and that diversity helps the members to provide a critique based upon their areas of expertise.
Contrary to popular thought, authors cannot afford to be loners. A writer who thinks they can go it alone presents a picture of arrogance. Anyone who has written a novel or studied the craft knows that not all things can be caught by the author. Why? We’re too close to the work. We view it with self-subjectivity. We cannot truly determine if the work is good or bad on our own. On one extreme, an author might think her prose is a work of perfection, with no need for any change. On the other, the author may never get a paragraph written because it doesn’t measure up to her standards.
Critique partners are a bridge for an author. Diverse groups, like the ones that have included me, assist an author with every aspect of the craft, from grammar, punctuation, and spelling, to the need to work on the elements of storytelling. When a manuscript has gone through diligent, intelligent critique, the author can cross the bridge and hold out a manuscript worth of proposal.
Can an editor or agent pick out manuscripts from authors who value the critique relationship from those who go it alone? Oh, yes. Easily.
In today’s world of online connections, there is no excuse for not having a critique group. My favorite “critters” are those I met online as a result of my membership to American Christian Fiction Writers. Within the last four years, ACFW has developed a critique system that, by itself, is well worth the cost of their yearly membership. If the online nature frightens a writer, Word Weavers International has many local chapters that meet once or twice a month. The friendships and the knowledge gained at those meetings is also well worth the membership fee.
Please don’t try to send a proposal across the wide gulf without a bridge to carry it across.
Fay Lamb (The Tactical Editor) is an author, editor, and writing coach.
Her emotionally charged stories remind the reader that God is always in the details. Fay has contracted three series. Stalking Willow and Better than Revenge, Books 1 and 2 in the Amazing Grace romantic suspense series are currently available for purchase. Charisse and Libby the first two novels in her The Ties That Bind contemporary romance series have been released. Fay has also collaborated on three romance novellas: The Christmas Three Treasure Hunt, A Ruby Christmas, and the newest A Dozen Apologies. Her adventurous spirit has taken her into the realm of non-fiction with The Art of Characterization: How to Use the Elements of Storytelling to Connect Readers to an Unforgettable Cast.
Future releases from Fay are: Everybody’s Broken and Frozen Notes, Books 3 and 4 of Amazing Grace and Hope and Delilah, Books 3 and 4 from The Ties that Bind. Also, look for Book 1 in Fay’s Serenity Key series entitled Storms in Serenity.
Fay loves to meet readers, and you can find her on her personal Facebook page, her Facebook Author page, and at The Tactical Editor on Facebook. She’s also active on Twitter. Then there are her blogs: On the Ledge, Inner Source, and the Tactical Editor. And, yes, there’s one more: Goodreads.
from → Editing Advice