I have read hundreds of unproduced screenplays and theatrical play scripts, novel and non-fiction book manuscripts and written countless critiques. I sincerely hope my observations on character, plot, pacing, and marketing potential are helpful to the authors. But in each case, I have learned something important.
Sometimes it’s a clever way to use dialog in subtle ways to advance the plot. Other times I might get a reminder to use mini-cliffhangers to keep the pages turning, when I have to fight the urge to put the work down. Whether something positive, or to be avoided, I learn from other authors.
On the other hand, the benefits I have received from sharing my own work with beta readers, critique groups and in seminars has also been invaluable. They are quick to point out where more description is necessary, when the dialog does not feel true to a character, and frequently suggest ideas I hadn’t considered.
So, all you writers out there, don’t be afraid to get your work out there. Find a local writers’ group, or join an on-line forum. Even if you are thin-skinned, the exposure to criticism will toughen you up and make you a better writer.
©2014 Tracey Enerson Wood. All rights reserved.