Makes sense. First, I imagine having a person or group to bounce ideas off of would not only be fun, but would add fuel to the brainstorming fire. Second, having someone or somemany to hand a WIP over to for a fresh read could only result in an improved manuscript. I, for one, know how I can get lost in my own maze of thoughts and details and often need someone to plow a straighter path through my plot for me. (Or at least cross off the detours.) Third, passing the completed MS to the person/people who shouldered the writer's tears though the months of drafting it to read it in its entirety, checking for proper pacing, plot holes and, of course grammar/spelling mistakes, aids the writer by offering not only eyes that are less familiar with the story, since the writer himself/herself can overlook these errors (seeing what's supposed to be there vs what actually is,) but can also teach the writer what to look for while editing and revising for himself/herself.
I'm not part of a "critique group", nor do I have a "critique partner".
Will you "go" with me?
I don't even know if those are the words teens (pre-teens? *gasp*) use these days. And I probably should, seeing as I write YA. Maybe they still use that phrase, or maybe I'm totally dating myself (not dating myself as in taking myself to dinner and a movie, dating myself like letting you all know my age...).
Anyhooooo. (YES, I get off topic in my manuscripts,too.)
Many of you refer to your amazing crit partners in your posts or list your crit group members on your sidebars. (So cool!) How did you find your crit partner or your crit group and how do you work together? Do you meet in person? Do you do online chats? How often do you send/review each other's work?
And then there's the whole Alpha reader and Beta reader thing. Do you use one or both (alpha being a reader while you're working and beta being after you're done - right?) (right??) and why?
How did you get one or more and what do you do for each other? If you're someone's Beta Reader are they yours, too? Do you know each other personally? Virtually? Do you write in the same genres? Is one of you more experienced in this
The other part of this post is WHAT KIND OF A CRITIQUER ARE YOU? How do you go about critiquing someone's work? Do you prefer to have a "synopsis" first so you know the whole story before doing a first read? Or do you prefer to let your writer know whether their first 250 or first five hook you and work from there? OR are you a grammar freak and look for all the language issues you can find? Maybe you read through looking for consistent voice. Or an intriguing plot. MAYBE you're Super Critiquer and you do it all!! (if so, call us. we need you)
WHAT DO YOU EXPECT FROM YOUR PARTNER/GROUP? Do you find that you critique how you want to be critiqued? You want someone to skim the whole thing looking for flow and pacing and voice? OR do you want someone to edit for passive voice and too many adjectives? (or, you know, just describe your process and thoughts in the comments below)
I'm just a clueless newbie and I'm putting myself out there, asking the questions I feel the rest of you have known the answers to for ages.
But, I'm hoping the phrase I say to my students from time to time will apply here: No question is a dumb question.