Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Critiquing Others Can Make You a Better Writer

Hey guys! Welcome to our new segment on Critique Partners!

Let me tell you, there are so many things I didn't know when I started out on this writing journey. So many things. One of those things was Critique Partners. When I started writing, all I had were a couple of my sisters that were willing to read the cruddy stuff I had written and cheer me on (later I learned these people are usually referred to as Alpha readers). Anyway, I didn't know who or what Crit Partners/Beta readers were when I started writing.

Eventually, I stumbled upon the term and Googled/talked to other people and found out who these lovely people are! And because of my critique partners I know my writing has gotten stronger, and continues to with there help.

The thing I didn't know when finding my CP's though, is that critiquing and editing their work would help me with mine too. Just like with writing, I believe that critiquing a work of writing is a skill that you can develop and grow.

As I learned how to critique my partners' works I also figured out how to better edit and revise my own. Isn't easier to see what's wrong with someone else's stuff than your own? If I'm being honest, that's how it is for me. I'm so close to my stories that I don't always see what's wrong with them. My CP's certainly help me with that. They point out things that I don't even notice and I do the same for them. (I hope!) I learn what they need help with--and, sometimes, those are areas where I need help too, I just can't see it.

With learning how to help my CPs, I've also learned how to look more closely at my own work. How to take the critiquing skills that I have developed with looking at their work and turn it onto my own. So, all in all, I believe that with having crit partners, not only are you helping them, but you're also helping yourself by honing your skills in editing/revising/critiquing.

(I also hope this post made some sort of sense you guys. I think this whole Spring Forward business is messing with me, so I apologize for any incoherent rambling!)

What do you guys think about critique partners? Does having them help you learn to do your own edits & revisions better? Let us know what you think!

1 comment:

  1. SO true! Seeing what works and what doesn't work in other people's manuscripts definitely strengthens my own writing. I still judge writing contests for the same reason!