March 8, 2007

Critique Buddies are Worth Their Weight in Gold

I have a critique buddy that I meet with a couple of times a month. If you don't have one I highly recommend you find one.

A second pair of eyes (and I don't mean the spectacle variety) can be just the thing you need. I can look at my manuscript over and over again and invariably will overlook obvious errors. Someone else can see these trouble areas quickly and save me the embarassment of sending out a piece too soon.

Make sure when finding a critique partner, that you have similiar tastes in writing. If, for instance, you write graphic horror you wouldn't want to work with a writer who has strong religious views. They would not only be offended, but would probably refuse to edit your work. If you right childrens books finding a buddy who writes romance might be a difficult match. You see where I'm going with this.

Not only are critique partners handy for editing, but you can learn information from each other. No matter how old we get, or how many college classes we take, we are constantly learning. Your partner might be a member of other groups online, and in person that you are not a part of, and will learn new things from them, he/she can share with you, and vise-a-versa.

For example, I learned that you are supposed to double space after each sentence. Who knew? Well, I certainly didn't. I don't recall learning that in typing class, which was more years ago than I care to think about. Most of my earlier writing was done by hand on legal pads. Sadly to say, I didn't pursue publishing my work until 2005, and oddly enough my single spacing hasn't come up in conversation with my editors. Yet.

Well, hopefully this won't be like the old dog trying to learn a new trick as I try to remember to double space. :0)