Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Read As You Go.

First let me apologize for my silence -- lot of writing, critiquing, and revising left my blog abandoned. No longer . . . now I am back to the regularly scheduled programing.

Okay, so in my experience there are two types of critiquing -- the finish the whole damn ms and hand it out theory, and the have it critiqued as you go method.  I was asked recently which one I utilize and/ or preferred.  Unfortunately the answer isn't so simple.  In all honesty, I prefer both.

I am a huge fan of having my work read chapter by chapter as I write, however, I only do it with certain people.  I've had the same critique partners for the better part of three years. They've read everything I have ever written -- the good, the amazing, and the its-so-bad-shove-it-in-a-drawer-and-never-pull-it-out-again WIPs. They are familiar with my voice, know the inner workings of my mind, and can often predict exactly where my dark twisted mind is going before I do.  Because of this, I trust them not only to be honest but catch anything that goes awry  . . . even as soon as chapter 2.  This trust, this level of familiarity allows me to correct horrible plotting mistakes (and yes I do make them from time to time)  before my MS is finished.

I also have a different set ot crazy-talented critique partners I hand my completed manuscripts off to.  They are fantastic at analyzing story arc and character consistency.  They read for flow, character growth and the all important chapter/ scene transitions.  Rather then the line edits my chapter-by-chapter partners provide, my "completed ms" readers give me feedback on the scope of the entire project, the consistency and believability of the characters, and the authenticity of my voice.

In the end, I employ both methods of critiquing, keeping the purpose of each in mind as I revise. So how about you -- are you the critique as you go type person or more of the big picture type of beta reader?

11 comments:

  1. I do both, too. I have a partner that will read my MS as I go and I rely on others to read it after completion.

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  2. Like you I prefer both and use both. I feel both are important. My chapter by chapter critique partner is more or less my cheerleader and gives me the kick I need to keep going. She wants to read more and harasses me to hurry up which is good especially when I'm procrastinating. She's also quick to point out what doesn't work and what does. My complete MS partner is awesome and not only gives me feedback on the project as a whole but almost every page.

    Both are valuable and I couldn't imagine doing it any other way.

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  3. Same here. Sometimes its easier to just power through a draft, especially when you find yourself spinning your wheels on a certain section. But then there are times when it helps to write and adjust, write and adjust. Flexibility is key in writing, being able to adjust your method to fit whatever you're working on.

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  4. I'm editing my first wip at the moment - so I guess I'm the 'whole story' type :-)

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  5. I have both, too! And I get such different amazing advice from both sets--my WiPs are so much better for them!

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  6. I am a fan of both methods too, it brings out the best results!

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  7. I used to be the writer who held a death-grip on her WIP until it'd been written beg. to end and had gone through multiple drafts. Then a CP suggested the alpha/ read-as-you-go method and it's been great. Having 2 sets of critiques is MUCH more beneficial.

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  8. Well, I have this really awesome critter who happens to catch everything. She's a very busy woman, so I'm scrambling to get everything together before I send her the whole thing in a couple weeks... *grins*

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  9. I like both, too. They're both important.

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  10. And this is exactly why I have you!

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