Critiquing — It does come back to you

I’m sure I spend about half of my time devoted to writing doing crits for other writers. Is that excessive? I don’t know. I have often thought that if I didn’t spend so much time on them, I could get twice as much writing done. Sometimes I wonder if it’s worth all that time spent on other people’s stories when I have so many of my own that need to be written.

There are reasons many of us spend so much time on things that do not directly contribute to writing stories. Even if you can write two less-well written novels without extensive critiquing for every better-written one that is well critiqued, your only result will be that the rejections come in twice as fast. With few exceptions, one well-written novel will always do better with readers, editors, and agents than several poorly written ones. Editors are not looking for a slew of bad novels, but rather that one that stands out from the sludge pile.

Getting that novel just right involves extensive writing, rewriting, and critiquing.
It would not be fair to accept crits from others while not giving any back. Besides, if you did so, people would eventually stop critting my work. Also, critting other people’s works is not only good for the writer, it gives the critiquer a chance to sample other writing styles and genres. A critique learns as much critting other people’s writing as getting crits.

I’m really not sure how much time other writers spend with critiquing, but I do know it’s very true with critting that if you give you will receive.

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4 thoughts on “Critiquing — It does come back to you

  1. Chuck, i used to spend a great deal of time critiquing on critiquecircle.com but my load has steadily increased to the point i haven’t been able to even log into critiquecircle.com. I do have to admit the benefits are tremendous. the way i see it right now–a small group would benefit me the most right now.
    i’ve also found out that when you crit the same people all the time, learning their style and all, you are much more able to help them with plot holes, character flaws etc.
    by the way what’s happening with your ghost story?

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  2. I agree with you Chuck, I find that I spend a lot of time looking at other people’s writing. It is necessary, both for the reasons you suggested, and also to bond with others swimming in a pool full of talented sharks! We are soo many now, and we need each other so much. I learned more from all at Indieyabooks within a week of getting together, than I did from the knowledge I gleaned myself in a year! Critiquing is part of paying it forward! Excellent post!

    Liked by 1 person

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