O is for objectivity.
This weekend I failed to post something for N in the A-Z challenge. I would normally feel bad about it, but I have a wonderful excuse. :D
I spent Friday night and Saturday beta reading a fantastic novel for a dear friend before she submitted it to a publisher. Saturday night and Sunday was spent reading another great novel for another dear friend for the same reason.
One thing about being a beta reader for friends, I found I had to set my mind to be objective while reading their work. It’s important to point out not only spelling and grammar errors, but also areas that don’t flow well, are jarring, could use more explanation or “beefing up” or even cutting down. Though we word them kindly, we like our critiques very honest. It’s how we know where to improve.
Though we lean toward the fantasy genre, our styles of writing are quite different. We have to read with an objective eye and not try to influence the others into changing their “voice”.
If you’re interested in learning how to review another’s work, you can check out Guidelines to Great Reviewing on Writing.Com. Being honest, encouraging, and respectful are at the top of the list of a good objective review.
I find getting others’ opinions and having extra eyes look over my own work before submitting is a huge help and I value my beta readers’ input. A lot! I love you guys!
Are you involved with a critique group or do you prefer to work on your own? If you do help with others' work, how do you go about it?