Thursday, September 8

To Critique or Not Critique

I always wondered why I never saw the end of Christi's stories in critique group or Kristi's. Until I finished my book. And now I get it. There comes a time in your manuscript where you stop needing input because you, as the writer, have got the story and it's flowing to the end. And getting feedback will only hinder your forward progress.

Early in my book--about the first half or so, I needed the voices of my crit partners. I needed the validation, the inspiration, and the fixes for things gone wrong. But then the writing took off and I stopped relying on the feedback. And this is in no way a reflection of my crit partners, it's just a part of the process.

Now, I've sent my manuscript out to beta readers to see if I got the whole enchilada right. Enough cheese here? More sauce there?

But soon, I'll be starting a new book and then I'm going to need my crit buddies again, just to make sure I'm getting it right and not wasting time on drivel.

Tell me, is there a stage in your writing when you stop relying on your cp's as much as you did earlier?

*the cartoon is honor of Bix ;) I think I'm going to have to get a coffee mug or tee shirt with that on it.


  1. bahahahaha! Love that cartoon!

    You already answered this (for me, anyway). I need my CPs most the first half-ish of my books - to make sure I've got the characters voices right, that I'm not info-dumping, that the story flows. After that, I still need the eyes, but it's different. I want to get the story down, then send in a few chapters to make sure the voices are still right, the story is still flowing.

  2. Oh, that's funny, and so perfect for Bix.

    I guess you're right about not needing critiquing at the end, but I still like reading the ends of CPs' work. It's the payoff, like they used to say in old movies, I guess. My CPs ARE my beta readers--no one else sees my stuff until an editor does; maybe that's why I feel that way.

  3. I guess I'm different. I need my CPs from start to finish. I don't like the term "beta reader". What the hell is that, anyway, other than a glorified CP?

    It annoys me a bit that CPs don't want me to read the whole book. It feels like I don't measure up for the whole thing, or something.

  4. The comic strip gave me the belly laugh I needed. I never sent I the last few chapters of Dreamers for two reasons. 1) I didn't want you guys to get tired of the story . 2) I always knew how it was going to end and I pretty much had it down pat. You guys are the only crit partners I have because I trust your judgement. Other than sending a chapter or two to RWC, you guys are it. And d'Ann, don't ever feel like you don't measure up. You were my first...(crit partner) and I will always value your opinion and friendship.

  5. D'Ann, it's not that you don't measure up, it's that beta readers read it all at one time so they can catch the continuity glitches. You guys have been reading Bix for well over a year, so you may not remember something that happened back in chapter five--14 months ago--that pays off in chapter 45.

    I absolutely still need you guys just in a different capacity at this stage.