Saturday, November 29, 2008

Helping Fellow Authors

One of the most important things in my life is reading. I have read everything from The Rise and Fall of The Roman Empire to Bertrice Small. Reading is such an escape for me. Within minutes of starting a good book I am lost to the real world.

Now it starts to get harder when someone wants you to help critique their work. You know that this story is someones baby. It means a lot to them. And you can also remember how hard it was to hear someones critique of your work.

Now I find there is a nice way and a not so nice way to do this. Sometimes people don't think before they hit that send key. Me, I agonize over what impact my words will have on the persons book I am reading. You want to help but not hurt. And that can be very hard to do.

So my advise is to think about how you would feel and try to use words that are kind and helpful. Because basically that is all you can do.

Then there's the story that just knocks you out. From beginning to end you are enthralled. The worst thing you can say is you need a comma here or there. I have a critique partner that writes so well, it freaks me out. After reading her first book I can see the light went on in her head and she now gets it. Everything she puts out there now is right on. All I can say is Wow.

So if you are ever critiquing someones work be careful, remember there is an author behind
those stories. A writer just like you who has feelings, but needs your help. Be kind, be honest and remember why you are critiquing. To help a fellow author put out the best book she can!
That's what it's all about.