Wit 'n Wisdom of Janice LaQuiere

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

The Critique!!!

As I mentioned before, though I'd written for several years, I knew that something was missing from my stories. But what? My friends said I had a good plot, the story was exciting, and I had a good handle on the grammar. Even after reading books and magazines I couldn't decipher what my writing lacked.

The Internet was booming, and finally I turned to it to try and find writing help. For the first time I became familiar with writer's groups, and I took the chance and submitted a chapter for critiquing. My manuscript was returned with cryptic comments about back story, flash backs, and point-of-view, none of which I understood. I only knew that I wasn't a fiction writer.

I still had the desire to write, even if I couldn't fulfill my desire to write novels. So I put my fiction aside and decided to focus on devotionals and short-stories. I joined writer's groups and a critique groups. Gradually, I learned the definition of the puzzling remarks the critiquer made, and how to implement her suggestions in my story.

Recently, I've started critiquing one of my older stories. I'm posting the prologue here, in order for others to have an idea of what a critique is. In future posts I'll be discussing some of the problems that were spotted in the prologue.

(This critique is a MS Word document. The Swan's Song


  • Janice,
    Thanks for posting! The first time I had one of my nonfiction chapters critiqued by a publisher (who spent over 6 months helping me with a proposal that they didn't buy), I remember getting it in the mail and having all these marks on it that I didn't understand. I had to find my English textbook from High School and looke everything up. I tried to fix everything but then he called me and said he wanted to do a phone interview with me and go through the chapter. My heart was in my throat when he called! I was afraid he'd realize just how ignorant I was--instead it was one of the greatest conversations of my life. I'd written enough by then (about two or three years) to know what he was talking about and to suddenly realize things I had never known. It was a huge blessing to me and I remember when I hung up that day, I knew my writing was changed forever. Anyway, sorry this went so long. Your post jogged a memory! God bless and good luck to all your writing.

    By Julie Dearyan, at 7:00 AM  

  • Hi Julie:

    It seems that "writing" comes with its own language, and learning that language takes time.

    Thanks for dropping by.


    By Janice, at 8:03 AM  

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