Thursday, January 3, 2013

It's A Critique Thing

Happy Thursday All,

Yesterday was Box Of Awesomeness Day. But just because yesterday is past doesn't mean you can't still share those awesome things/feelings/happenings throughout the year. In fact, I encourage you to keep me up-to-date on here and on Twitter (hashtag: #BoxOfAwesomeness tweet to me @WriteByBethany). We all need positive things/uplifting things in our lives, so let's see if we can keep it up all through 2013, okie-dokie?

Since I'm getting Dream Weaver ready for critiques the process of critiquing is on my mind.

Tess St. John and I have been critique partners for oh, about 4 years now. Yes, I have critiqued several of her novels (I swear this woman is a machine when it comes to writing, and she's so talented!) She and I have an understanding, which I think is important for all critique partners to have with each other and that's this:  Use what works for your story and ignore the rest. Which basically means, whatever works to strengthen your story use it, whatever doesn't, leave it alone.

Given that I've had to delete whole posts I've written on the subject of critiques because they were getting too long, I've come up with an alternative:  I'll take any questions y'all have on the subject.

Before I take the questions, though, here's a bit of advice to always remember:  constructive criticism and being polite and professional goes a long way to making the critique process move smoothly and being beneficial to all parties involved.

Otherwise, what do you want to know about critiquing or receiving a critique?

While you're at it, check out Tess St. John's next novel, a new Historical Romance, Chance For Freedom available on Kindle (it's not available on Nook, yet, but it will come eventually). But it's a good one (and yes, I did critique it, but I'm not saying it's good because I helped critique it, I'm saying it's good because Tess is a very talented writer). Tess has requested I add that some of the expansion of conflict is there because of me. (Although, I think she gives me too much credit, but she strongly disagrees. You see? We've got a mutual admiration society going on, which helps us work well together). :-)

Have A Thoughtful Thursday!


Carla Rossi said...

Hi Bethany!
Hi Tessy!

I have no questions, but will comment. I love my CP's too. There are three of us and the unwritten rule seems to be if the other two disagree on someone's work and, through discussion, one doesn't come around, the author will sleep on it and see if something really needs to be changed. However, if both CP's say the same thing, it needs to be fixed. Two agreeing brilliant minds are not often wrong on these things.

Susan M said...

I can't wait to read Tess' new novel. I have read several of her others and you are right, Bethany, she's a great writer. And you must be a great critique partner to have lasted four years.

Bethany said...


Sounds like a good motto to have adopted!

Thank you so much for dropping by and commmenting! :-)

Bethany said...

Susan M.,

LOL Thank you! I try. It's pretty funny, at times, the conversations Tess and I will get into about our work. But one thing is for sure, I've learned a lot from her and I'm glad she finds things I say helpful.

Thank you so much for dropping by and commenting :-)

Tonette said...

I have found it helpful to get a real critique; but for me, they are few and far between.I have people who want to be encouraging, so they rubber-stamp everything,(not helpful).More though,I have had trouble finding people who write what I write, and so, when I try to get another writer,(one who works in other genres), they tear what I have apart, because their minds are set elsewhere,(which also does not help).It really helps to have someone who understands your target readers.
Best of luck to you in this new year,Bethany!

Bethany said...


Yeah, saying great to everything or tearing down everything doesn't help the author. It's one thing to make suggestions on how to improve something--which is CONSTRUCTIVE.

Thank you for the well-wishes!

Also, thank you so much for dropping by and commenting :-)

Anonymous said...

Hi Carla!!! I agree...I have a few cps and if a few pick up on something, I do take a more serious second look!!

Hi Susan!!! You're such a dear...how is your writing going???

Thanks for stopping by Tonette. I have had many cp situations that never worked out...but I have been lucky to find some critical great ones...I hope you do the same.

Bethany, it's been wonderful working with you and sharing this writing journey!

Bethany said...


Aw, shucks, same back at you! (And thank you!) I'm very blessed/lucky to have you for a CP.

Thank you so much for dropping by and commenting :-)

J.D. Faver said...

Hi Bethany!
I too love my critters. The thing is, every comment is coming from both a writer, but also a reader. So when I go back to work through the comments, even if I don't agree with the comment, I always consider that this was a reader and if she didn't "get" what I was trying to say, then I need to write it stronger. So I usually do follow up on all comments, at least with the idea of writing stronger. And yes, I really appreciate all the comments. After I have polished a work to the best of my and the crit group's ability, I send it as a whole document to a beta reader for a "cold read". Then it's polish some more and send it to another beta reader. I try to have at least 3 cold reads with a little polish in between. This is my weird process.
Tess is an awesome writer and I'm sure her new release will be another grabbing novel. I especially love her romantic suspense. Really character driven.

Bethany said...

J.D. Faver,

It doesn't sound like a weird process. Sounds like you want to cover your bases and put out the best work you can, every author should want to put out the best work they can put out.

I hope you enjoy Tess's new release. It's got some great scenes.

Thank you so much for dropping by and commenting!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a great process, JD!!! I had three betas on my last book and loved it!!! Thanks for the stopping by and for the sweet comments about my books. I love yours too!