Monday, April 4, 2016

C is for Critique

Just so you know, I had the HARDEST time coming up with a post topic that wasn't "Cookie". That fuzzy blue monster has ruined me for the letter C.

After making an absurdly long list that mostly didn't appeal to me because I didn't feel like I had anything to talk about (or were just silly. Like Cake, because screw you, cookies.*)

I can, however, talk about critiques, because I've been wading into the pool for the past, what, two years now? Yeah, it was two years ago that I joined my critique group, and you know, I'm still learning how to do it. Not right, there isn't really a right way to critique, but best, in ways that gives useful feedback to the person receiving critiques. I've gotten decent at query critiquing, but not quite good enough to come out with a perfect draft of my own. Plus side, the critiques I've received have been positive, but I'm not quite there yet. 

For larger crit, though, one thing I've noticed is everyone seems to notice different things while critiquing. Some people are more naturally editors while others are proofreaders. Many of my companions are excellent at finding the big picture problems. They can see the whole garden and tell you where you screwed up the feng shui. I am not one of these people. I'll notice the one sentence that's confusing, the red tulip in the bed of yellows. When someone else points out the bigger issues, I can see them, but finding them myself? Not happening. It's why, right now, I'm depending on beta readers for Business of Being Dead. Because no matter how much I study other people's feng shui analysis, I feel like I'm still just standing here looking at the red tulip.

*I didn't mean it, cookies. I love you.

1 comment:

  1. Nothing wrong with red tulips. Everyone has their weak spots. It's going to take time to round out your skills, as such stuff always does. I mean, how long have I been trying just to string together a coherent scene?

    In the mean time, you realize that yes, you may only notice low level stuff, but you're exceedingly good at it? You always pick up on inconsistencies, certain types of plot holes, and many grammar/factual things Al across an entire story which would escape others because they forgot from one scene to the next, or it just doesn't bother them. Don't undervalue that - cleaning up the red tulips really does make the work more professional looking. If you want an actual example, let's just say there were certain things in Blank that only you noticed, like the naming inconsistencies, the impartiality of a syringe vs. paste, and the brutality of a certain fight scene. In general, such things are my weak points because I always leave consistency and brutal real world detail for last. Because of that feedback, I was able to take better care when I wrote that scene straight off, so the first draft came out SO much better for it. We writers NEED our red tulip weeder-outers!

    When you're ready/if you want, I'd be glad to cast an eye over TBOBD and work ZEE FENG SHUI.