A Word That Creates Flow Within And Between Sentences Beginning Writer Tips – Basic Critiquing

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Beginning Writer Tips – Basic Critiquing

As a beginning writer, learning to critique the work of your peers in a writer’s group can seem like a daunting endeavor. Save the shivers and stomachaches for editors and publishers down the road. Critiques are fairly painless and will also help you in your ability to edit your own work.

Someone once used the term ‘Oreo Cookie’ as a comment. You sandwich a mild, critical comment between two positive comments; It tastes better than just swallowing a negative comment. Both positive and negative input improves a writer’s content, boosts their confidence, and motivates them to continue their craft.

When starting your critique skills, focus on just three areas: flow, spelling/grammar, and punctuation. Find a favorite item from each of these areas and learn to apply it. Always be honest.

flow

The plot should move smoothly and logically.

You should get involved quickly and stay there until the end.

Facts should connect easily from paragraph to paragraph.

Communication should be realistic, not stilted or overly formal.

Spelling/Grammar

Always use your spell checker.

Singular nouns need an apostrophe plus ‘s’ to become possessive.

Conjunctions require an apostrophe to replace a drawn letter.

Double check your synonyms; Is it ‘pill’ or ‘pale’? It might be embarrassing to give your character a ‘pail-face’.

punctuation marks

Capitalize the first word in the sentence and only the ‘proper’ noun.

Periods end most sentences.

Always enclose quotations with quotation marks.

Keep dashes, exclamation marks and italics to a minimum.

Pick a pet peeve from each of the three areas above and put it in your critiquing toolbox. Don’t overload yourself with rules and regulations, but focus your energy on honing a few, simple critical skills.

Choose from the simple skills above to step up, not stumble, your way to writing. Learn to accept a certain degree of imperfection as part of humanity; Hemingway and Asimov also broke some rules and made mistakes.

keep writing; Practice makes ‘more’ perfect.

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