Friday, July 24, 2009

Critique Sessions are a GO!

Judging by the poll on the sidebar, critique sessions seem like something everyone would like to try out. So, let's try it!

First, what this is NOT:
  • This is NOT going to be a snarky, point-out-every-wrong-detail critique by anyone
  • This is NOT going to be a win-a-prize thing...I ain't got no prizes!
  • This is NOT going to be a critique with lots of pressure
Second, what this is:
  • This is a chance to get feedback from fellow writers
  • This is a chance to see reactions from readers to your writing
  • This is a chance to know what you're doing RIGHT...and what could be improved
What to enter: Your query pitch and/or your first 250 words of your manuscript. These are the first two things an agent/editor will read, so making them good is essential.

Who can enter: ANYONE. I don't care if it's finished, what genre it is, anything. Just send it.

What will the critiques entail? Basically, I'd like for each critique to answer the simple question: would I want to read more or not? I don't intend these to be line-by-line critiques--just a simple yes or no...but if the answer is no, I wouldn't want to read more, then a short explanation as to what point made me (and the other critiquers) quit reading.

Who will critique? Everyone on the blog who wants to. I'll post the entry here. All critiques--including my own--will go in comment box.

How do you enter? Email me (bethrevis at your submission. Please include the following information:
Your name: (optional! you can be anonymous)
Your blog/website: (optional!)
Query: [You may submit your query AND/OR your first page. Self-edit or redact your bio if you prefer anonymity.]
First page: [First 250-ish words, please.]
How long will this last? Depending on interest, I'm thinking we can do 1-2 of these every day next week. I hope that if we keep the number posted per day low, then people can go a little more in-depth and be more thoughtful than if I posted everything at once (which has a tendency to overwhelm people and make them skim).

How many entries will be taken? This might vary, but I really only want to do a few each day next week and then stop. If there's overwhelming interest, that may change, but as of now, that's the plan. This may mean that if I get 20, I'll only post the first 10. Sorry--but if there's a ton on here, people lose interest or just start repeating themselves in the comments.

Will there be another critique session in the future? *shrug* I dunno. Let's see how well this one goes.

ETA: Just to clarify: you can chose whether or not you want to be anonymous--entirely up to you. Also, feel free to send your query, your first 250 words, or BOTH--you decide what and how much you want to share!


Eric said...

Sounds good. I have to decide if I just want to help critique or if I want to put my work out there. Usually, it's a no brainer because I don't mind, but lately my work is feeling a bit shaky so I am unsure. Anyway, here's one person looking forward to it.

Danyelle L. said...

Sounds great. :D

Unknown said...

Eric: go for it! When it's shaky is the perfect time to see what works/doesn't.

Casey Something said...

Sounds fun!

Is anonymity going to be a choice?

Mim said...

This is great. I sent in my piece already. I think we can learn so much from each other. Thanks for doing this as a session.

Unknown said...

Casey: absolutely! If you want to be anonymous, leave your name out--if you want to be known, keep it in. Since the vote was almost 50/50 on anonymity, I thought it only fair to give people the choice.

Mim: I got yours!

PJ Hoover said...

How fun! I'll look forward to the first brave person!

Anonymous said...

This is going to be fun. But yikes, you're only taking 10! I better get my entry in!

Elana Johnson said...

Kewl. I'll send mine, why not? I'm up for public humiliation. *grins*

Kristen Howe said...

Thanks Beth. I have more than one. So pick the one I want to do first? I'll send mine in tomorrow. I don't have a query though.

Unknown said...

Kristen: Yep, whichever one you want to do is fine with me!

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Okay, I guess I'll be brave and send one in. *eyes roll back, gasps for air* I don't know if I'll have a query, though, since I'm in rewrite and haven't crafted one. It might be pretty iffy to write one on the fly.

Bontemps said...

*Deep breath* - I'll give this a go, my first nervous attempt at a query letter. The manuscript isn't finished yet but it is plotted. Be good to see what needs changing (everything no doubt). Great idea Beth!

Anonymous said...

When are the critiques going up?

Unknown said...

LittleScribbler: Got the first one up today--yours will be tomorrow! :)