How to get the best from a critique service

If you’re a writer, or hoping to become one, then you might find it useful to make use of a professional critique service to help you with your writing.

Here are a few tips on getting the best from using a critique service.

First of all, what exactly is a critique service?

In most cases a critique service will carefully read your work and give you an unbiased opinion on if, and how, it can be improved. They can give you advice on the more complex issues like plotting and structure together with technical issues like grammar.

They should also be able to give you an opinion on how saleable it is, ie. whether editors and publishers are likely to be interested.

So why use a critique service?

Writing can be a very solitary, lonely business. It’s difficult to see the wood from the trees sometimes. It’s good to get a second opinion from someone outside your situation.

Just because you use a critique service it doesn’t mean your writing is no good! It’s just a way of getting some feedback on what you’re doing well, and where you could be going wrong.

This is absolutely essential when using a critique service:

It’s vital that you are open to criticism and advice including, perhaps, some plain home truths. If being told your writing maybe isn’t all that good in places then don’t use a critique service!

Finding and using a critique service:

There are quite a few critique services out there out there now. Try to choose one where your work will actually be read by a ‘real live’ working writer – someone who knows the trials and tribulations of writing themselves. People whose main experience is in editing and publishing tend to be less useful as critiquers.

Also try to choose a critique service who can not only give you advice on your actual writing but on selling it and marketing it too – preferably someone who has lots of contacts in the publishing business.

If you’re looking for help and advice with your writing please take a look at my Services For Writers.

Posted in publishing, writing