Archive for November, 2015

STRUGGLING TO GET IT WRITE: CRITICISM AND CRITIQUE

Lately, I have strayed from the purpose of this blog, writing.  I beg your forgiveness, although I promise it will happen again.  For I live in a world which I understand less and less, and however much off the mark, I have opinions.

For now, however, I am back on course and thoughts of writing flow from my pen.  The subject of this piece, as you can see from above, is criticism and critique.

In the early stages of your career, and it never ceases, criticism is its life’s blood, for with other’s help and guidance, that is how your work grows and matures.  Although, always remember you are the creator of the work and the final ‘say’ is yours.  As a writer it is essential that you believe in yourself and your work, but be able to take criticism and judge it for what it is worth.  It is your task to sort through other’s opinions and select which are valid and which are not.  It is important to share your work with other, and people you know and respect.  But consider their credentials.

I know your mother most likely meets these two requirements, and wants to read your earliest draft.  But when she raves, understand that she has a bit of a bias.  Then there is your close friend who dropped out of high school and has read nothing but comic books since.  Need I say more?

What I suggest as a source of criticism and support is a writers group, for in addition of reviewing your work they can empathize with your journey to becoming and author.  But most important, find a group that offers constructive criticism and able to provide suggestions which improve your work.

Research the local writing groups.  You will be amazed at how many writers live in your community.  If you are unsuccessful in locating other writers, do not give up hope.  There exists a host of online sites serving the same purpose.  What follows is a sample of what is available.

 

The first is Critters Workshop.

http://critters.org/

 

Next, Absolute Write, less than critique, more and essential for writers.

http://absolutewrite.com/

 

My Writers Circle

http://mywriterscircle.com/

 

The Young Writers Society

I’m not sure about this site, but obviously never used it. Be careful! https://www.youngwriterssociety.com/?forums

Critique Circle

http://www.critiquecircle.com/

 

Marketing to writers sometimes feeds as an ‘ego centric’ scam, promising but never delivering. As in all things in life, be careful. If it is too good to be true, walk away. I say this for the sites here appeared in Writers Digest. Some years ago, I checked Preditors & Editors for a list of agents appearing in their classified section. Preditors & Editors suggested you stay away from all of them.

 

 

 

November 30, 2015 at 10:29 pm Leave a comment

Why Survival Skills Are So Important For a Writer

A Writer's Path

Rock Climbing

by Ned Hickson

Over the years, my wife has gotten used to my (admittedly bad) habit of leaning over and whispering “expendable character” whenever I see someone who I know is going to die. I should clarify I only make these predictions while watching movies, and not, as a general rule, at the grocery store, in hospital waiting rooms or at family reunions. That’s because in movies, these types of characters are easy to spot.

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November 6, 2015 at 6:38 pm Leave a comment


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