Blogging Contest · NaNoWriMo · Writing

#30 Why Do You Think You Could Benefit From Manuscript Evaluation and Critique?

Pre-polishing. Image attributed to Scotty00 via Wanacommons
Pre-polishing. Image attributed to Scotty00 via Wanacommons

Despite having been a writer since I was 6, I’m still learning. Despite having a degree in English Literature and having taught High School English, I’m still learning. Despite having published a book and having another one under contract, I’m still learning. If I have ten plus books under my belt, I’ll still be learning.

I have grown a pretty thick skin. I need feedback whether good or bad because I know that it means I can learn to get better. That’s why I’ve been pretty disappointed that I’ve only gotten two reviews for Harp Lessons. Sure, I’ve had people come up to me to tell me that they enjoyed it, but I really want to know what they liked about it. I want to know what they didn’t like about it.

Help me be a better writer!

But even better than reviews, is having a professional evaluate my manuscript before it gets sent to my publisher. It’ll be great to have someone tell me which “little darlings” need to bleed out and which spots need to be beefed up.

I’m very curious how this manuscript is going to come out. I’ve never written anything this quickly before. I can only imagine how much editing I’ll need to do when it’s finished. It would be nice to already have a plan in place to adjust the parts of the story that need work before I even get started on the grammatical issues.

A different set of eyes is always helpful. Different people have a different set of experiences to bring to the table. A different editor can catch things that another one may not. Not that the other editor is a bad editor, just one with other experiences. And the other editor may catch things that the first one didn’t.

The bottom line is, I want to be a better writer. The experience of NaNo will be unique for me. I’m hoping it will help, but I’d like to know if by the end of it, do I have a descent book or is it just puked out words?

[This post was written as a part of the NaNoWriMo Pre-game Kick Off over at Jessica Schmeidler’s blog.]

NaNo word count: A little more, but not much. Still not quite 26,000, but I didn’t get the chance to count. As stoked as I am that I found out I won this contest, especially for reasons expressed in the above post, I also found out that my Grandma Caroline just passed. She was a great inspiration for my writings. I will miss her tremendously.


6 thoughts on “#30 Why Do You Think You Could Benefit From Manuscript Evaluation and Critique?

  1. Sorry to hear about your loss. (( )) And hope you find yourself a beta reader you can work with. It’s always good to get positive feedback, even if it tells us where we’ve gone wrong! Perhaps especially then 🙂
    Congratulations on your NaNo project.

  2. extremely important to have a trusted beta reader who can be totally honest (but hopefully not brutal). I’ve been very fortunate with about 6 of my 8 novel ms. so far. For some reason I couldn’t get much useful feedback on the first two (from this beta).
    But he’s helped a lot with the others. Just one example was a scene which didn’t fit the way I had it AND interrupted the flow of the primary story. I realized he was right and fixed both. Much smoother.

    1. My biggest issue with finding a beta reader is finding someone who has the time to actually sit and read my story. Everyone I know is usually pretty busy. I’m making my hubby read The Stone of Kings for me, but I have to take what he says with the understanding that he usually doesn’t read fiction.
      It’ll be nice to have Jessica’s opinion, not just because she’s an editor, but because she’ll be able to be more objective than my family. lol

  3. It’s always good to have another pair of eyes to read your story, or another pair of ears to hear how it sounds. Good luck on your project. And I’m so sorry to hear about your grandmother.

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