This article was the subject of a Rolling Mystery Writer’s Blot Tour Ink roll on August 15, 2011. Since my computer was in the shop at that time, I was unable to participate, but I wanted to add my two cents, so here is my article, followed by a list of other blog articles on the same subject.
Now, on to my article: Do You Critique for Free?
I can’t imagine charging money to critique. When I first met other writers, they all critiqued my work, kindly, honestly, and freely. The help of other writers is the main reason I was able to write something worth being published and I feel an obligation to help others in the same way.
I really hate that writers sometimes have to pay to have their work critiqued. Every writer needs other writers in order to be a success. Though we work in a field where being alone, working alone, and being completely responsible for the product, we are not solitary creatures. We are not all-knowing. We need the eyes and minds of other writers to help us see things we cannot see in our own work.
Beta readers are great, but they don’t always know what is required by publishers. They don’t always know what a novel is really built on. We writers need each other. A half-dozen opinions from writers can really help us shape our work and polish it to perfection. I try to make it a point to tell every group I’m in that I’m willing to mentor new writers. I enjoy participating in the growth of others. I am a judge in several contests, where critiquing helps entrants prep their pieces for submission to editors.
I now have to depend on online critique groups because I live in a small town with only a couple of other writers who have not responded to inquiries about a crit group. I’m so glad the online groups are available. I hope every writer who reads this is open to critiquing and mentoring, and I hope they too feel these are ways to pay it forward.
As a community, writers need to be able to depend on each other. No one else understands what we do, how we do it, or how hard it is. Friends and family are often supportive, but that doesn’t mean they really get it. Only another writer understands the characters running around in our heads, talking to us, and how difficult it can be to get that story down on paper and mold it into a piece of art. If you can’t find someone to critique your work free, contact me. I know lots of writers who are generous and kind, so if I can’t do it personally, we’ll find someone.
If you didn’t get an opportunity to check out these blogs on the subject above, please take the time to do that soon.
KT Wagner: http://northernlightsgothic.com/blog Kathleen Kaska http://kathleenkaskawrites.blogspot.com/2011/08/do-you-critique-for-free.html
Nancy Lauzon http://chickdickmysteries.com/blog-6/
Mollie Cox Bryan http://www.molliecoxbryan.com/2011/08/bleeding-heart-do-i-critique-for-free/