Everyone’s a critic. No really, in this critique group I recently joined, the eight other members are all critics. That’s how it works. I shared my first draft with a few friends initially, and that feedback was useful. I was told to expect friends to be a poor choice because they will typically provide nothing but positive feedback in an attempt to motivate. My friends must not be typical. I received some decent feedback on improvement. Still, it’s a different kind of feedback coming from these other writers. And very useful as well. I can see how participating in critique groups is essential for writers who self publish. It serves as a replacement for paying an editor.
I’m going to assume though that I don’t know what I don’t know, and acquire editor services anyway. I meet with one Tuesday afternoon. I’ve been reading a number of self published books, for no other reason other than to judge quality. It shows when writers skip the editing process. I’ve learned in my own career, anything good is never done alone. Good product takes a team. A mix of skills, each bringing their unique qualities. The woman I’ll talk to Tuesday can perform multiple editing services. I’ll see what I can afford out-of-pocket. The publisher would pay for editing in the traditional publishing route-to-market.
I was advised by a writer friend to not feel overly obligated to accept all criticism. I’m not. None of the writers in my critique group are in my techno thriller genre. They don’t get the overly technical descriptions and suggest I delete them. I’ve already dumbed down much of the writing for this reason from the initial feedback from friends, but I’m not going to remove anymore text. I believe readers of techno thrillers enjoy that content. If you think about Tom Clancy, he doesn’t say a guy is holding a gun. He describes the make and model, the year it was produced. Maybe even the production run it came from along with all the known glitches. That’s the techno part. I’ll admit, when I buy some new electronics, I like to read the manual. Some of us just like that stuff.
I have to say, all this writing is taking away from my running. The Boulder Marathon was run this morning. For the first time in maybe six years, I’m not in shape to run a marathon. I could have run the half but drove my in-laws to DIA instead. Such awesome fall weather, I’ll get out later today to run some miles. Ran the East Boulder Trail yesterday with Brit. Ellie might be too tired to run with me. She got in after midnight from her first homecoming dance. She told Brittany after getting home that her friends “had so much fun and danced their asses off.”
On Facebook, it looked as though the picture above of that group of wholesome, beautiful, happy young ladies was your critique group, so of course I had to check out this post. That would merit a book in itself! Best wishes in your endevour. My understanding is that “hang in there” is the best advice for a writer.
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Ed Mahoney said:
Thanks George. Even the criticism has been fun. Really enjoying the writing process. Rob read my early draft and helped me quite a bit. He didn’t hold back.