Friday, July 8, 2016

Tell Me The Truth

The most useless person you could possibly ask to read and comment on your work is your spouse. Unless you have a spouse who is an editor or a writer themselves, otherwise, bad idea.

To my husband, every word that I tap out at the keyboard is brilliance, pure magic. Realistically, we both know that's not true. I have an Excel spreadsheet of rejected submissions to prove it.

Ideally, I'd like to find a local writing group, but time-wise this isn't really feasible right now.

I hear other writers mentioning beta readers and critique partners, but I've never really picked up the necessary networking or social skills to find any of my own. For years I've convinced myself that having someone else read my work before submitting it isn't really necessary, or that swapping critiques with a partner won't really add much to my writing, but I'm starting to think that I'm wrong.

Do you use beta readers or have a critique partner? More importantly, how did you find them in the first place?


  1. Hey Caitlin, I haven't seen you in a while. Well, I'm not blogging much, to be honest. But as to critique partners, I have learned so much from them. It's more than critiquing, it's more like critique-editing. You find yourself weeding out weak verbs and unnecessary words, finding plot holes and inconsistencies. I highly recommend them. Check out ISWG Critique Circle on facebook.

  2. I started to use beta readers for some of my work but not all. I don't bother for short stories at all. I tend to ask people to read my longer stuff if I'm not sure I'm going in the right direction. I've been writing for so long, that I know if it's readable or not - but some things need a second opinion. I'd never send out a first draft - I ask for betas once I've done several drafts.

  3. "Kinda" would be my answer. My girlfriend is an English major and so when I have a story, I run the idea by her and she'll give it a look-see. If it goes well, it goes back to me and then I edit the bleep out of the story.