Every author stresses how important revision is. The trouble is, one easily overlooks one’s own weak points, omissions and errors. The solution sounds easy: Get a good Critique Partner for reciprocal manuscript correction.
But how? There aren’t that many budding English-speaking authors in Oberlunkhofen!
I tried several online author sites which offer some facility for critiquing one another’s Work In Progress:
- The Circle at goodreads.com
- The Writers’ Workshop at christianwriters.com
- Critiques – general at writing-community.writersworkshop.co.uk
But the one I have found absolutely the most helpful is:
- The Ubergroup at Scribophile.com
If you join this group, inspiringly led by Jerry Quinn, you commit to submitting a chapter of approximately 3000 words every Monday and to critique the chapters submitted by the 4 or 5 other members of your team by the Thursday. And to follow this routine for 6 weeks at a time. A critique (‘Inline’, by ‘Template’ or ‘Freeform’) must have at least 125 words in order to earn ‘Karma’. And you need 5 Karma points to submit a chapter. Do the maths!
My experience so far is that I receive tough but extremely helpful feedback from my team members, communicated in a humble, encouraging spirit. The drill is rather intense, so I do have some difficulty keeping up and haven’t yet got round to revising my chapters based on the comments I’ve received. But I will.
A sample from an inline critique, where red means “Cut!”, yellow is to mark something and green is for comments or additions:
And a sample of some closing comments: