Why You Should Let Someone Else Read Your Precious.

You’ve written your first draft, revised or rewritten, and maybe completed a second or third draft of your novel, short story, etc.

Now what do you do?

If you’re anything like me, you’re scared shitless to share your precious novel with another set of eyes. Perhaps you’ve read your manuscript aloud to your dog, or cat, but another human being hasn’t heard or read a single word. You might try to hold on to Your Precious as long as possible, but you’re not doing yourself any favors by doing so.
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Before recently, I wouldn’t allow another living soul to see, much rather touch my novel. Many a time has my rough draft of a chapter been sitting on my desk or table and a friend who knows I’m working on it went to grab for it.

My response? Paws off!

angrygollumWow. I’m freaking terrifying sometimes! Well, my response may have been a bit nicer, but that’s how I felt on the inside. Why did I smack at their hands, or hurriedly put the draft away? Because I was scared to let someone else read it.

But if you want to be a published (and maybe best-selling) author someday here’s my bit of advice to you: You have to let someone read Your Precious eventually.

 

In fact, you’re so close to your own work it can only get better by having someone else read it and give you the feedback you need. And that’s scary. That pesky self-doubt creeps in more than ever and you may find yourself compulsively checking your email every two seconds. Hours might go by and then you feel like you’ve written the biggest piece of shit in the world, days and you might feel like your life is over— weeks or months? Forget it!

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But then you get that little email. Your heart might be pounding so hard or be so sunk into your stomach that you feel it may just fall out of your butt, but you click on it anyway.

And, whew— it’s not nearly as bad as you thought it would be. (At least it wasn’t for me, and I was freaking out over it).

I never thought I would get to the point of needing or wanting a critique partner

but I feel like my writing and my book have become so much stronger for having shared it with another person. Plot holes in my novel have been brought to light where otherwise they would have gotten bigger, my characters are stronger, and I feel so much better about my book.

My critique partner and I met through my blog in June or July. We still continue to trade at least one chapter a week. It helps me to set goals with my writing and motivate me to keep on writing, even when I want to give up (which does happen from time to time). She and I talk about our progress nearly every day and help keep one another accountable for our work. Without my CP I probably wouldn’t even be more than half-way through this round of revisions, but I am.

SOPVr

Hats off to you Megan for being awesome, dealing with me, and helping me be a better writer.

 

Do you have a critique partner? Where did you find him/her?

How do you feel about sharing Your Precious (aka your novel) with other writers?

10 thoughts on “Why You Should Let Someone Else Read Your Precious.

    • amandasnoseinabook says:

      I called my manuscript “My Precious” the other day. I used to be so terrified to share it with other writers for fear they would tear it and me a new one.

      Now I’ve realized that it’s really not all that bad to share our Preciouses 😉

      • Kylie Betzner says:

        I agree. I used to clutch mine to my chest and snarl at anyone who tried to take a piece. I finally was brave enough to share a tidbit of it this year and was surprised by the positive feedback and helpful criticism. I felt stupid having kept it to myself. Missed out on a lot of help and praise. I think we all need to open up with our novels and be braver. It’s hard though:)

  1. Sam says:

    I met three of my best friends through a writing group. Together, we’ve read my novel and they’ve all given me great feedback on it. I don’t know where I’d be without those girls. It’s so nice to have someone to keep motivating me even when I’m feeling low.

  2. acps927 says:

    This post is so on-point! I’ve recently started working with a critique partner as well, someone I knew in my life before but reconnected with at a local writing conference last year. I can say it definitely helps to have someone see those things that you miss!

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