The Red Pen Treatment

red-pen.jpgAh, the value of a good critique! I sent my latest manuscript to Robin L. Rotham, and she made such excellent points. Thank you to Robin! *big sigh of relief* I just knew something was missing from the story, and she came up with it. A fresh eye by someone who knows the market can be invaluable in that final look-through before submitting a manuscript.

I’ve been in good critique groups and bad ones — too many to mention. But if a critiquer can point out even one important aspect or come up with even one new idea, it can make all the difference in a manuscript.

I really believe there are some things a writer can do to get the most from critiques:

(1) Be willing to return the favor. Spend your time doing your best at giving a good critique of the other’s manuscript.

(2) Only give over your own manuscript when it’s about as perfect as you can make it. Don’t waste a critiquer’s valuable time and energy, making her read hurriedly-dashed-off, half-baked ideas with grammatical errors.

(3) Don’t be thin-skinned or stubborn. Be willing to consider altering your golden prose.   

Are you in a critique group?


3 thoughts on “The Red Pen Treatment

  1. You are a very receptive author, my dear Elizabeth. 😀 You’re willing to change your story to suit the market, which means it will be picked up, probably sooner than later. More congratulations from me!

  2. I was once in a critique group, but the modus operandi was to read sections of each person’s ms out loud, followed by feedback from the group. That format just didn’t work for me. I now have a critique partner and we e-mail mss to each other and respond with the Track Changes feature of Word. We e-mail the mss back to each other, but often also add a phone call summary since more ideas/questions frequently surface during the conversation.

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