Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Critique THIS!

I recently joined a writers critique group with four other members of SCBWI-C (the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators - Carolinas). The group is specifically for writers working on picture books and/or books for a middle grade (MG) audience.

Just FYI - This is not my first critique group.

Already the question has been raised (okay, I raised it): How do you decide what to do with the comments, suggestions, evaluations, and criticisms you receive from group members about your manuscript?

Oh, I know all the pat answers, such as "Take what makes sense to you and ignore the rest" or "If more than two people say the same thing, take it seriously."

It seems to me that those answers are a bit simplistic.

I shall now provide a set of succinct, brilliant instructions on how to sift through all the advice you receive from critique group members to arrive at those pearls of wisdom that will lead you to create the book you always dreamed you could write. After all, this is a WRITING BLOG and I AM A WRITER.

Hold on a second while I . . .
Sorry. You see, there's no way I can create those brilliant instructions. I truly don't know what to do with the feedback I receive.

Oh, sure, some of it is easy. Typos, grammatical errors, tense shifts, word choices -- I can deal with that sort of thing.

I'm talking about the other stuff. If you are a writer and you have had your work critiqued, you know what I mean.

So what do you do? How do you do? (Fine, thanks, and you?)

I want some answers, people. And I want them NOW!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Advice vs Advise

Yes, friends, it's time for another installment of Spelling Errors That Drive Me Crazy!

Noun: guidance / Verb: to recommend

See how that works?

He ADVISED me not to give him any ADVICE.

Take my ADVICE. Please.

How can I ADVISE you if you won't let me give you any ADVICE?

She asked me to ADVISE her concerning the ADVICE she received from her sister.