Thursday, May 3, 2012


Welcome to Writers’ Corner. Over the past several weeks, we’ve discussed how to hook your reader, redundant words, tag lines, dialogue, show/don’t tell, and point of view. If you’re new to this blog, check the archives for these previous posts.

We’ve also discussed the revision process and the importance of feedback. Published writers don’t write in a vacuum. Writers must seek and accept feedback to grow.

This doesn’t mean you’re obligated to revise your WIP (work in progress) exactly the way someone else instructs you. As you become a seasoned writer, you’ll discover your voice and learn what advice to discard and what is spot-on.

Feedback can be painful. But look at trees pruned in the fall. They come back even more beautifully shaped in the spring. Critiques are subjective, but good critiques offer constructive criticism that enables growth.

If you’re having trouble finding a critique partner or a group locally to be involved in, American Christian Fiction Writers is a great solution. An important aspect of ACFW is their critique groups. Peruse their website for additional member benefits.

Meanwhile, it’s time to give away another free critique!

I will randomly select one person to receive a critique based on the following rules:

1.      Leave a comment on this post of a few sentences describing your WIP. Feel free to briefly introduce yourself, as well. If you’ve been following Writers’ Corner during the last few months, tell me how (or if) the posts have helped you.
2.      Winning WIP submission must be 2,000 words or less.
3.      Most people reading this blog don’t need to be told this, but I’ll state it anyway. Entries cannot be erotic, vulgar, or blasphemous. For example, please do not give God a last name or slander Him and expect me to critique your work. I reserve the right to reject the entry and reselect based on these rules.
4.      You must agree to have rhino skin. Think “American Idol.” I promise not to be Simon Cowell. I’m more of a Jennifer Lopez when it comes to feedback. (That's where our similarities end-LOL.) I’ll find positive aspects of your writing and give encouragement, but I’ll also point out your errors.
5.      The critique is not exhaustive. Most writers have to ascend the writing ladder one rung at the time. That’s difficult to do if your writing has been ripped apart on all fronts. Better to tackle a few issues and learn. When doing so, you often discover other areas of your writing that need improvement.
Understand that I’m not an expert. I’m not ashamed to say I’m still learning my craft. My feedback is designed to aid your goal of becoming a published writer. However, publication is neither guaranteed nor implied, if you follow my advice.
I look forward to reading about your WIP! Winner will be announced on next week's Writers' Corner post.
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  1. Thanks for the amazing opportunity! I'm pretty new to your blog but I've been reading all your posts and find them helpful. You've helped me realize there are certain words I use too often and that some of my dialog could use improvement.

    My WIP is more than 2000 but I if I win, I could send you just the first 2000 words (or less if you prefer). I have had a few beta readers but not an actual critic. I've been searching and praying for a critic partner.

    My WIP is an adult thriller (I think that's the word I have decided upon). It is pre- apocalyptic of the Left Behind Series and has the big brother tone of an Ayn Rand novel.

    1. TC, your WIP sounds intriguing. I'm thrilled you've been encouraged and helped by the writing posts. Thanks for stopping by. I always enjoy hearing from you.

  2. Laura, Such a good post.
    Because I do editing/critiquing for WOW, I know that some of the things I suggest/change are subjective, but I try to also be constructive when possible. I also know that my understanding of grammar is not exhaustive. I value the critique of others...especially because I know I am still learning.
    I've enjoyed the posts I've been reading on your site and would love to have you critique an article I'm writing for Outreach Columbia on Christian Grandparenting if I should win your free critique.

  3. Thanks, Gail. Grammar can be challenging! We all have strengths and weaknesses. That's why critique groups/partners are important so we can improve our skills. (Your writing is great, though!) Your article sounds interesting.