I recently joined the Clay County Fiction Writer’s group. The members send ten pages of recent work to each other, edit and comment and then send it back. Then on the next Wednesday, they meet a a local coffee shop to discuss the works. It’s kind of like a literary group grope. You can learn a lot this way. If you are very thin-skinned when it comes to your writing, this is not the sort of group you should join. But if you want trained and experienced eyes on your work and you really want decent – and constructive criticism, you can’t beat a group like this one.
It does not matter if you are a new writer or a long-time professional. You will learn something. You can also make some good friends.
I spent most of the day working through another ten pages of edits on “Hog Valley”. No connection to the writer’s group I mentioned earlier. I didn’t make any major changes it was just another slow slog through a a well-known manuscript. And that can be a problem.
Your brain will always tell you what you expect to your eyes to see when you edit your own work. You have to read each and every word, one at a time. Then read the entire sentence as a unit and then reread the entire paragraph to be sure you have the context right. Don’t get lazy and allow your eyes to gloss over anything, and then assume you have ‘read’ it correctly.
Get into the habit of reading your work aloud. That is when you will catch redundancies and slip-shod phrasing. If it doesn’t sound right, you haven’t written it right.
Have a great weekend.