Revisions and critiques

Posted: December 1, 2011 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

Lots of great NaNoWriMo advice floating around Twitter, much of it revolving around the truism that once you finish those 50,000 words (or however much you’ve been able to accomplish), you have not =finished= the book.  First, 50,000 words is often too short to be considered a novel, depending on the age group for which you’re writing.  Second, a novel is so much more than a first draft.  I’m asked all the time, “I’ve finished my novel.  Now what?”  My response is always to find a critique partner or group and workshop/revise the heck out of it.  I suggest critiquing because often we’re too close to our own work to see it’s flaws.  We know what we meant, so we don’t necessarily know when we’ve been unclear.  We won’t always call ourselves on the tough stuff or even see that there’s something we’ve shied away from until someone points it out.  Once we know, we can’t unknow.  Oh, we can do denial, but that’s never helped anyone deal with the problems at hand.  That’s not to say that all criticism will be useful.  You do have to run it all through your own filters, but listen with an open mind and approach the manuscript with the attitude that you’re going to take the time and expend the effort needed to make it not just acceptable, but sensational.  Not just done, but done right.

Now, the above is not a lead in to my next note.  I don’t think you have to pay for critiques necessarily.  However, Publishing for Vision & Hearing is holding an auction to raise money for the Foundation Fighting Blindness and the Deafness Research Foundation.  Many great authors, editors and agents (including me) have donated critiques to benefit these great causes.  So, if you’re so inclined, stop by and see if you want to place a bid or help us spread the word.

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