Friday, May 14, 2010

The Art of Critiquing

First, I must apologize to my blog readers for my absence. In short, a few weeks ago I lost a battle against the strong Nebraska winds, an engine cover and its metal frame. My head came out in a different shape that when I entered the space. When I opened the compartment, the wind forced the cover open and held it tight. I leaned down and started to remove the starter motor. The wind suddenly did a one-eighty and I remember seeing stars and blood everywhere. It took me a week before I could sleep without my pain. The good news is that during that time I worked on my ms and edited it again.

I am now seeking serious Beta readers for my completed manuscript. With this in mind, I thought it would be a good idea to point out several new critique sites I came across in the latest issue of Writer’s Digest (May/June 2010). The title of the article is 101 Best Websites for Writers. It is full of a variety of Websites guaranteed to meet any of your writing needs.

• Two sites that I joined are Critters Workshop and Critique Circle.

Critters Workshop: You must love a site whose motto is—Guaranteed Critiques or Your Story Back. To help you review properly they have a fantastic library of articles on how to critique. Be sure to check out the free tool section. You earn credits for every critique you send in. You can post full chapters or a completed novel for review. Different rules apply so be sure to read the instructions. The only drawback I have encountered is that all submissions must be in text format. No DOC/RTF or PDF files. This is easy to do if you are using a major word processor such as MS WORD or Open Office.

Critique Circle: As with many writing groups, the system is based on points. It costs three points to submit a work. You will likely have to wait a week or two for it to be posted, as there is a queue. Critique Circle pays you points, from 1.5 to three, for your reviews of other people's works, which is necessary on the site so you can post your own material. The shorter your material the more reviews you will receive.

ALERT: Caught your attention didn’t I. I ordered a book titled Formatting and Submitting Your Manuscript by C. Laufenberg & the Editors of Writer’s Digest. It covers every part of the manuscript submission process, including how to construct persuasive and professional correspondence, with more than 120 sample letters and proposals.

• Cost: $4.95 (original price $19.99)
• Order number: 1711490
• Website:

I am seeking a few BETA READERS who would like to exchange manuscripts. I will read and comment on yours and you would do the same for mine. You must be a follower of my blog.


  1. Firstly, I'm sorry to hear about your accident. What a thing to happen!

    Secondly, great links. Many thanks. I especially like the one that said 'Guaranteed Critiques or Your Story Back'. Love it!!

    PS. If I wasn't currently in the query process, I'd gladly raise my hand to be a beta reader. Sadly, I must not stray. Albeit, it is rather tempting.

    All the best. I hope you get great feedback - and your story back :)

  2. Hi Wendy

    Thanks for the comments and good luck with your queries. I heard back from a local book editor who agreed to check my novel for problems. This will happen next week.

    I have recruited a local beta reader and she in turn (bless her heart) has recruited two more. Word of mouth rules!

    The nice thing about living in a small community is that no one steals anything. Since I have this community in part of my book, I have had many people ask me when my book will be available for purchase. This has inspired me to continue working on the sequel (48% finished).