Tag Archives: critique

April Already?

An e-mail in my inbox today reminded me that April is the month for the famed A to Z Blog Challenge, and for a moment I thought, “Not again…”

Last year I tried doing A to Z on two different blogs, with completely different themes… in addition to posting on two other blogs with still completely separate themes.

It was a challenge, yes. One I’m glad I accomplshed, and one I never want to repeat.

But one blog is easy (or so I tell myself now).

I recently joined Scribophile, an online writing community that operates based on mutual constructive critique. It’s a give and take system where you can only post your work by earning points through giving thoughtful critique to work done by others. Want to post your next chapter or article? Get critiquing!

On top of that, I have become a vocal advocate for participation in a critique group because of the benefits I’ve received from my local group of “critters.”

One of the subjects I saw discussed on Scribophile is, “What makes a good critique?” Isn’t that subjective? What sorts of things should one look for when reading someone’s creative work?

Bam. A to Z topic selected!

This I can do, because it’s something I’m passionate about.

There will be some other posts, but there shall be A to Z posts every day throughout April (with the exception of Sundays) related to facets of writing I look for when I critique a piece.

You have been warned.


Critique Group on Steroids

There’s a special moment coming today that both excites me and fills me with dread.

It’s not tonight’s special date with the wifey – we’re going to the symphony, something she’s been wanting to do since we came to Omaha.

It’s not our 2nd annual Christian Writers’ conference today, with a special guest couple who are going to talk about songwriting (a passion of mine). I’m looking forward to hearing what all the speakers have to say.

It’s not even the silly skit we’re going to perform for the writers in the audience. I can handle getting up and saying a few lines in public without heart palpitations.

So what has me all a-flutter?

The first two chapters of my main writing project are going to get professionally critiqued during a 20-minute sit-down with an editor.

I belong to a critique group with at least a few folk who can be “mean enough” to tell me when something I write just doesn’t work for them. But we’re all encouraging with one another, and so it can sometimes feel like we’re all patting each other on the back.

This editor has no reason to waste his time and mine by sticking to niceties and compliments. In fact, I imagine he’ll pull no punches precisely because that’s what he’s there for.

So I’m cringing a bit, but I’m giddy at the prospect too.

We’ll see if I’m singing the same tune in a few hours.