Critiquing for Maximum Benefit and Minimum Hurt Feelings–part 7 of 7, TUNING THE MECHANICS

First of all, congratulations to each and every writer out there who has stuck with Ye Olde Subb It Clubbe's series on how to critique. May your dedication be rewarded with a hefty contract. Today we discuss correcting the grammar and punctuation in your critique partner's manuscript. In general, don't. That is not what critiquing... Continue Reading →

Critiquing for Maximum Benefit and Minimum Hurt Feelings–part 6 of 7, START AT THE BEGINNING AND QUIT AT THE END

I know. Your first reaction to the title of this blog post is: Let me explain.The middle of a story is important---after all, that's where everything happens. But the beginning and ending are even more critical. If the "bookends" of the story are lacking, the whole work is thrown awry. And so... BEGINNINGS---ENDINGS CHECKLIST  Does... Continue Reading →

Critiquing for Maximum Benefit and Minimum Hurt Feelings–part 5 of 7, PLOTTING AND PLANNING

Oh, we're comin' around the bend, race fans. Today's installment of our series on critiquing considers the actual story. Here's your handy-dandy... PLOT CHECKLIST Problem--Can you define, clearly, what it is? When you read a manuscript, ask "What does the main character want?" If you don't know, that's a bad sign. Once you can identify... Continue Reading →

Critiquing for Maximum Benefit and Minimum Hurt Feelings–part 4 of 7, WHAT A CHARACTER

*phew* After a month of special guests and interviews and contests and frivolity, it's time to get back to what we're really here to encourage: Today, let's consider how to help your critique partner write realistic, unforgettable characters. CHARACTER CHECKLIST Point of View--Is it consistent? Whether it's first, second (boy, I'd like to see THAT... Continue Reading →

Critiquing for Maximum Benefit and Minimum Hurt Feelings–part 3 of 7, BONES, BONES WE DIG FOR BONES

Okay. By now you've taken advantage of the Sub It Club Critique Partner Matchup. So it's time to continue our journey toward Critiquing Greatness by looking at another important feature of a manuscript: the bones, or structure. STRUCTURE CHECKLIST Does the story start in the right place? All manuscripts, whether picture books, early chapter or... Continue Reading →

Critiquing for Maximum Benefit and Minimum Hurt Feelings–part 2 of 7, MOVING THINGS ALONG

Okay, mes petites shoes. (<---Hilarious two-language pun. Dana can vouch for that.) The holidays are definitely over--all twelve days of Christmas, all eight days of Hanukkah, all seven days of Kwanzaa and all three days of Lisha's Post-Family Reunion Recovery. Time. To get. To work. (If you need a critique partner, visit the Sub It... Continue Reading →

Critiquing for Maximum Benefit and Minimum Hurt Feelings–part 1 of 7

The Grand Poobah, Heather Burnell, has asked me to write a post about how to critique since we now have a sparkling, fancy Sub It Club Critique Partner Matchup. And of course I've thought of so many things to say about critiquing it will take seven parts. First, a little bit about my critiquing past... Continue Reading →

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