It’s a funny thing, the difference between sharing pieces of a story for critiquing and handing off a complete manuscript for a read-through. There’s something so much more revealing about handing over the complete manuscript, knowing that when it’s viewed in its entirety, all of the flaws and weak points are out of your control to explain or describe. Even compiling the document from Scrivener was difficult, noticing all the things I wanted to revise and edit, but knowing, to get an authentic read-through, that I just had to let it go.
All of that is to say, I will not be working on the manuscript I was working last month, because I have let it go to one of my friends and peer critique group members for a its first, full read-through and critique. Some of the members in our group have paired up for full manuscript critiques, as many of our needs have grown beyond the few page critiques we are able to complete during our meetings. I decided to use the manuscript I’d been revising, even though only about a third of its been fully revised, because it is the story that is pulling away from me the most, telling me its ready to fly. My goals for this month, this last month in my third quarter of writing goals, have shifted. For this month I will be focusing on two main goals: giving my partner a full critique of her manuscript and revising my novel from NaNoWriMo of last year.
I hadn’t looked at this story since the end of last November, until last weekend. I used the first two chapters for the critique part of my peer critique group writing retreat. As I heard my friends first impressions of the story and put myself back into that place with my characters, I felt the tug of the story, the pull to dive back in. Handing off my current story is the perfect reason to dive into this one. 🙂 It works too, because these are the manuscripts I want fully revised first. Getting to share them with a friend and get an honest read-through, as we will complete two full critiques and the manuscript I work on revising this month will be the next we switch, is a lovely added bonus I wasn’t expecting. 🙂
Have you shared your writing for critique? How did it go or what is the best way you’ve received feedback on your stories?