My first session selection - Don't Fight the Feedback: Making the Most of Critiques and Self-Editing - made that point clear. The panel consisted of Cherise Fisher (The Scribe's Window), Lana Krumwiede (author, Freakling), and J.M. Tyree (writer), and moderated by JRW's own Constance Costas.
|Wield Thoughtfully The Powerful Red Pen|
Critiques are like advice--easy to give, hard to accept. However, when you receive a honest, insightful, and constructive critique, it would be foolish to ignore. The trick to giving and receiving critiques is to remember to be CONSTRUCTIVE. These pages/words were labored over by the author and are as dear as a beloved child. Treat them and the writer with respect, giving them your best in both content and delivery.
The panel offered so much valuable advice that I'm certain to have missed many points, but these made it onto paper:
- Don't self-edit while composing that first draft. Pour it all out and then go back to edit
- Be a developmental editor - evaluating character, pacing, plot, and voice - not just grammar
- Don't skimp on the fact checking (was there really a full moon on January 6, 1995?) and don't rely strictly on the web (unvetted and notoriously unreliable). Librarians are priceless resources.
- When considering a professional editor, especially for those going the route of self-publishing, carefully vet your choice. Some resources suggested: The Editorial Freelancers Association and Professional Editors Network