At the beginning of my writing career, my ego said I could write a novel without help. After I faced facts, that I could not become a published author without aid, I asked for betas. I found something more than like-minded writers wanting to improve their skill. I found a fantastic community.
Betas spoke the truth I didn’t want to hear; that my MS stank like spoiled milk.
Thank heavens for them and their honesty. And their friendship.
Find a beta, someone who clicks with your style. Their advice is priceless. Critique groups like Unicorn Bell are a part of the process. Use them.
Check our archives for the survey Charity posted at our startup. It gives guidelines that help to match a critique partner or beta.
I’ve noticed one thing, that folks who do not read fantasy, cannot critique fantasy. They have no patience with the genre. To that end, I highly recommend that fantasy lovers (whoa. That sounds vaguely pornographic) segregate from mere fiction lovers. The marriage does not work.
Different skill level can cause a breakup also. A lady once told me in the nicest way that she was light years beyond me and needed to find someone closer to her abilities. Yeouch. But she was right. She might help me but I was not helping her. It wasn’t an even trade.
Here are some questions for a potential critique partner:
What genre do you write?
Are you comfortable critiquing in a different genre than you write?
At what stage is your writing?
- Beginner-no completed manuscripts or agent submissions.
- Intermediate-several completed novels with extensive research, Unpublished.
- Advanced – Published, agented, or with a successful E-pub track record.
In comment section of today’s post, I will submit my answers to the above questions and encourage others to do the same.