Posts tagged ‘criticism’


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.


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


My Writers Circle


The Young Writers Society

I’m not sure about this site, but obviously never used it. Be careful!

Critique Circle


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



Just finished reading The Novel by James A. Michener.  I’ve read many of his works, my favorite is The Source, a book dealing with the excavation of a well in the Middle East and detailing the life of the people surrounding the well from ancient times to the present.

Michener, who died in 1997 at the age of 90, published The Novel in 1991, but it was far from being his last book.  The work, divided into four parts The Writer, The Editor, The Critic and The Reader explores the publishing world of a different era.  The world of publishing has changed a great deal since Michener wrote this book and continues to rapidly change with self-publishing and social media becoming important tools for today’s authors.  In Michener’s story, the editor plays a significant role in the life of the author and the progression of his career.  Having never been published by a major house, yet, I don’t know if that portrayal holds true today.

The section of this novel which I found most interesting was that of the critic, Karl Streibert.  He finds the work of the main author in the book, Lucas Yoder, shallow and not worth reading.  The funny thing is that the work of Lucas Yoder reminds me of Michener’s.  The critic judges Yoder’s work as to accessible, fit only for the common reader, and is of the opinion that writers should write for the reading elite, intellectuals who demand the highest quality and deepest thought.

This lofty insight reminds me of a comment I once read in Poet & Writers where the poetry of Billie Collins was considered mediocre because it was too accessible.  I happen to find Collins’ poetry extremely enjoyable.  I wonder what that says about me.

A difference in values is what makes life interesting, and at times argumentative.  I strongly suggest reading James A. Michener’s The Novel.

May 26, 2014 at 6:06 pm Leave a comment


June 2021

Posts by Month

Posts by Category