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Friday, July 6, 2012

What writers need now more than ever.

What we writers need now more than ever is each other. We need to form groups that work together to help each other reach her potential as a writer.

As critique partners, what do we need? We need double-blind critiquing. We need middle men to dish out authors' writings to anonymous readers. Neither the writer nor the reader knows who each other is. We need honest, no-holds-barred critiquing.

I think each writer who submits work through such a system needs to preface the work with what his intentions are. For example: I'm writing a historical romance that I hope will make the bestseller list. Or: I'm a literary writer. I don't care about plot so much as writing that is engaging and explores xyz (some aspect of the human condition). Or: I'm a YA writer of supernatural thrillers. I want the reader to be wrapped up in a world like none he's ever known. By doing this, the critic will not be trying to get the writer to write what the critic thinks she should be writing, but helping the writer accomplish what she is trying to accomplish.

As a critical reader, we need to do our best to give honest, constructive feedback. We should try to read as editor's would read: spot the problems and point them out for the writer to fix.

This could be a long-term endeavor. No one should enter into it who isn't willing to do his best to stay for the long haul. But any one's situation can change and, after starting, finds that he cannot continue. Then he can discontinue without any negative repercussions. Of course, any writer can quit any time for any reason.

What do you think? Do you think this is a good idea? Would you participate in something like that? I don't know that this will go anyplace, but I'd like to hear your thoughts about it.
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