Sometimes, you work with someone long enough editorially that you know what they’re going to say to a piece of writing. It’s like they become your own little Jiminy Cricket reminding you to “go bigger” or “ramp up the tension” before they’ve even had a chance to read your draft. This can be great – it becomes a part of self-editing and a clear sign that your critique group’s/editor’s/agent’s process and sense of craft is really sinking in.

On the other hand, sometimes this can be a detriment. Everybody has editorial blindspots – and so without additional eyes, you’ll find that you begin to take on those editorial blind spots too. Perhaps somebody in your group is really good at having a sense of what will and won’t work in the current marketplace and someone else is always the first one to point out logic holes – but maybe there’s nobody in your group that excels at character building.

As we barrel towards the new year, consider this a little poke. Is there an aspect of your writing that you feel could use more work or is frequently pointed out as your trouble spot – and do you have someone to read that excels in that area? (Likewise, don’t be afraid if you’re at a conference and getting feedback to say, for example, “I have a hard time with realistic dialogue, can you show me some places I can improve?”)

Chicken Wants a Nap by Tracy Marchini

"A surprising gem." -- Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Chicken Wants a Nap is available at Amazon, Barnes & NobleTarget and your favorite independent bookstore!

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