You need someone besides your mom

One thing I’ve discovered about writing is that you’ll want someone to eventually read what you’ve written. If you don’t ever want anyone to read it, you’re kind of just spanking off. When I first started writing stuff that was good enough (I felt) for public consumption, I gave it to my husband and my mom. Neither one is a writer, but they gave me some very good encouragement. However, besides encouragement, a writer also needs critique. You need other writers to give you feedback. If you’re just starting out, I recommend http://www.critters.org, a great site for getting your fantasy, science fiction or horror work critiqued. It has some great guidelines for how to give critiques, as well. And you’ll need to know how to do this because critters requires that to get critiques, you have to give them, which is a fine practice. After all, critiquing the work of others often helps a person improve their own writing and spot their own mistakes.

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2 thoughts on “You need someone besides your mom

  1. I really agree with this. It seems like the jump between having exclusively “safe” readers and actual peers is extreme, however, it is crucial for anyone wanting to get serious. What do you think of authors posting their work straight to a blog, like livejournal? Is it worth the risk?

  2. Well, I often wondered about that, someone stealing my work. But then I thought, if I have such difficulty selling anything, what hope does someone else have? Of course, if you don’t have a lot of people commenting on your blog, then you probably won’t get much feedback. And if all the comments you get are from your friends, your feedback might just be, Great! or something equally mom-like. Still, encouragement and compliments are always good. If you’re nervous about posting something that anyone can get to, you can post a partial, just to get people interested, and ask if anyone wants to volunteer to read the whole thing. That way, you can kind of check them out before they get your entire manuscript.

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