Advice from an unpublished author; Getting someone to critique your work before you publish.

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I know this is easier said than done if you are an indie author on a limited budget. A decent editor will cost a lot, more than most hope to make out of their book. That leaves friends and family. The problem there is that they might just tell you how good it is, because they are on your side. What you really need is someone to tell you how terrible it is and where it needs more work.

I’m lucky a very good friend of mine is also a successful author and she has gone through my work three times so far picking it apart. It’s quite hard when you get the comments back. They normally start with something like well done it’s better than the last draft but most it is terrible. I’m being unfair she never calls it terrible, she gives great constructive advice.

What do you do if you don’t have a friend who is a successful author? Swapping work with another author might be a good idea but then you must give up your precious writing time to read and critiques theirs.
There is of course writing groups but then if it’s like mine you only read short passages, so you must apply all there, hopefully helpful, advice to the rest of the book which they haven’t read.

I’ve recently being pointed towards so redit groups that will critique your work, but you must as well. Again, it’s going to be parts for your book which you may not want on a public forum before publishing and you have to make time critiques others work.

I think the only answer is persuade your partners or best friend to go on editing courses, good luck with that.

How does everyone else get over this problem? Or do you just self-edit and hope for the best.

2 thoughts on “Advice from an unpublished author; Getting someone to critique your work before you publish.

  1. I had to laugh out loud when I got to the part about getting one’s partner to take an editing course because my husband has been reading books on self-editing, checking out writing websites and blogs, and generally educating himself on what makes for a book that agents/publishers might want…all in order to tear apart the (first) book I’m currently writing. He’s been extremely helpful and brutally honest about the things that don’t work (we’ve had some great differences of opinion in the last six months), and he’s excellent at cutting out my excess words (oh no, not my precious words!! lol). I’ve found, as a first-timer, it’s terribly difficult to get people to take you seriously. I’ve had offers from friends and family to read my work, but the critiques are usually too broad, too vague, and usually too nice. I’ve joined a place called Scribophile, but they require one to do a lot of critiquing before one can post one’s work…cutting into that precious writing time. This is quite the writer’s dilemma.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I might show this comment to my wife. To be fair she read bits for me a point what is good and isn’t so good. She is a fan of a long description so not very good at cutting out my excesses words.
      It might be worth trying to join a local writers group or even start one up, if nothing else they are very good for moral support.

      I didn’t put it in the article but I do plan on paying a professional editor when the times comes.

      Good luck with your book.


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