As a writer my biggest concern is lack of critique or even the incorrect type of critique. Now before you think I'm ungrateful for the people who help me with my writing, let me explain. Not all feedback is created equal and I thrive off of the great critique. Here's a great article I found that explains a bit more how find a great beta reader and as one how to help a writer by being a beta reader and providing feedback that is valuable.
Accept that honesty is the best policy. You want the person critiquing your work to be honest about the quality of your writing. That’s how you become a better writer.
But providing honest feedback doesn’t mean the reader offering the critique gets to be a snarky bully! Stay away from any critique partner whose big head comes with an equally big, disagreeable mouth.
Define boundaries. Be clear about what you expect from your critique partner.
And don’t forget that your beta reader will have some expectations too. Know up front how and when you’ll be expected to reciprocate.
Decide whether to meet in person or online. Both options have their benefits. Communicating online offers more scheduling flexibility and interacting online also gives your beta reader an opportunity to carefully word his or her comments and lets you take some time to process any criticisms before you respond.
However, meeting in person also has merits. Since writing is often a solitary pursuit, exchanging ideas face-to-face can offer a nice change of pace and lead to more productive results.
By carefully considering the person behind the critique, you’ll choose a partner who will offer unbiased advice and genuine encouragement, and ultimately improve your writing skills.
Are you a beta reader looking to support a fresh author?
Or are you an author looking for a beta reader?
Leave your information below or PM me and we can chat. :-)
In my final semester at school this year, I decided to take something I have always wanted to take and never had the chance to. A short story writing class. As part of this class we were required to also read and discuss a bunch of short stories. (This is partly why my reviews have been few and far between these past few months, too much other stuff to read). Since I really don't want some of these great stories to fall off of my radar, and thus yours, I figured I'd do a quick blog on all of them with a spark notes review on each and a way to find them should you so choose to pick them up.
Signs and Symbols by Vladimir Nabokov
| 3 Stars | fiction, family, cultural |
Synopsis: A family struggles with the decision of committing their boy to a mental institution, and after discussing their choice over his birthday gift, they decide to bring him home.
Review: The agony and pain this family suffers from with their decision is evident and their struggle is so well written it tugs at the heartstrings.
Recommendation: Cryptic and full of symbolism, a sad read that is well worth it.
Sea Oak by George Saunders
| 1 Star | fiction, family, fantasy, zombies |
Synopsis: A struggling family grieves over their self-created depressing lives and when their family matriarch passes a surprise visit changes their outlook on life forever.
Review: The abuse and lackadaisical attitude of this family is maddening and overused, that pair with the vulgar language and treatment of loved ones made it a difficult read.
Recommendation: If the language/themes do not offend you, the moral and theme of the story is sweet and profound making it worth reading if you can.
To Build a Fire by Jack London
| 3 Stars | fiction, survival, adventure |
Synopsis: A deeply compelling story following a man and his dog as they journey through the frozen north and struggle to survive.
Review: The mental journey that this man undertakes is just as interesting to read as his physical one.
Recommendation: The dark and twisted content is highly entertaining and as the characters continue on the read trudges along with them.
Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut
December, oh what a month! Hot chocolate, spiced cider, the smell of pine trees, and tinsel constantly trailing behind your shoes. A time for family and friends to get together and share in the blessing they have been given during the past year. Let's take a quick look at some exciting happening for the month of December.
It's been far too long since I posted anything and I wanted to take a few seconds to let you all know I'm still around and for an apology cat picture. She's a cutie! Before you ask, yes, I'm still writing, and I have a lot planned for the coming months!
For those of you who aren't aware, the last few years I have been studying at a college here in Washington state. Well, as of a about an hour ago, I passed my last class and have graduated my bachelors program. I'll be walking in the spring with some of the best friends a person can have, and I am thrilled to be able to check this life milestone off my list.
In the next few weeks I will be posting the backlog of articles I've be hoarding, a few book reviews (and short story reviews), and I'm even looking to post a few original short stories I've been slaving away on these past few months. I'll make sure to post/tweet/facebook when those are available and where to find them.
Lastly, due to school this semester I was unable to participate in NaNoWriMo and to make up for that loss, I will be participating in a self run #JanuWriMo (hashtag it... you know you want to make it a thing!) and will be finalizing the second draft of Keepers (finally!).
As always, thanks for sticking by me and checking back for new content. I promise Monday Blogs and Articles will be back with the new year along with more Reviews and the Monthly Newsletter.