“Most people have to see it to believe it,
but the legends believe it to see it.” --Tiye Samone

WHAT IS A WRITING CRITIQUE?

A writing critique is usually a verbal, and/or written explanation of revision suggestions to the author of the work by the critic (or critics). They are meant to strengthen the work by promoting discussions, varying perspectives, and overall story improvements. The author and the critic collaborate together to express their thoughts, and opinions of the work, and ultimately create a mastermind to inspire one another in improving both of their writing skills.

 

Writing critiques, writing coaches, and writing workshops are extremely beneficial to everyone involved. The authors have the opportunity to have their work reviewed by peers, professionals, and/or preferably their targeted audience and gain valuable feedback; and critics have the opportunity to strengthen their writing development skills by hearing varying voices, flows, and styles of writing.

WHY GET A WRITING CRITIQUE?

A critique is the best way to ensure that your manuscript is in its best possible form. It is highly recommended, especially if you have not had any one read or review your manuscript. Even seasoned authors make mistakes. We have all failed to spot weak areas in: dialogue, structure, character development, grammar, and/or other crucial writing components.

 

So it's best to have a critique done for your manuscript either professionally, by a trusted community of like minded individuals, and/or people from your targeted audience. 

 

After the first draft, the writer has reached a point where they can no longer “see” the work, and needs fresh eyes, ears, hearts, and minds to see what is actually there, and not what they “think” is there because they’ve read it a few hundred times.

 

It is wise to always view your manuscript as a work in progress, because there is always room for improvement —especially if you’ve only written one draft! Your first draft is usually your initial thoughts of the work finally extracted from your head and out on paper, but imagine what your story could be if you spent more time cultivating the world you’ve created. Having a critique is the best way to start expanding that world. Once you introduce another person, it becomes less “your world” and more of “ours”. Your audience wants to feel included in your work, and a critique is the best way to see what people think of your world and offer constructive suggestions to assist you in improving it. In doing so, you will be accepting the challenge to think more critically, and exponentially develop your skills as a writer; and your critic will be inspired by your story, and strengthening their editorial and storytelling skills as well! Think win-win!

 
 

“There is no such thing as failure. Only feedback.”

HOW TO CREATE A CONSTRUCTIVE CRITIQUE

HOW TO CREATE A CONSTRUCTIVE CRITIQUE

(1)Take your time to read the work, sit with it, and reread it a few times (especially if it’s something short). The first time you read it, enjoy the work (or try to), and the next few times you read it think more critically and analytically on how the story can be improved.

 

(2) Choose your words wisely. Avoid “you” statements and replace them with “I would”, or “I recommend”. That way, your statements feel less judgmental, preachy, and even condescending. The author will be more receptive to feedback this way, otherwise they may feel attacked or discouraged. Writing is a very intimate practice, so yes, feelings do matter; but they should not get in the way of progress. It is encouraged to be honest; however there is a delicate balance to maintain when critiquing, so be respectful! We want the author to improve, not quit writing altogether.

 

(3) Start with positive feedback. It’s not recommended to charge into the critique with “the bad news”, instead start with positivity and gratitude to set the tone for the author. Even if you don’t feel like there’s anything “good” to say about the work, it is good practice to find beauty in all that see see, in order to see that beauty expand and multiply. Authors are much more likely to receive what you have to say if you approach them from a positive space. Also, don’t make vague statements like “it’s cool” or “it sucked”; in your critique you want to be detailed in explaining why an element of the story does or does not work.

 

(4) Assess what is and what is not working. Nothing is as clear cut as “good” and “bad”, so start thinking critically about what “works” best for how the author wants to show and tell the story. It is important to focus on expanding the author’s strengths first, then address their weaknesses by offering potential solutions . Honesty is crucial in this process, your opinion is valuable so really understand what you think and feel about the story and why you think and feel those things. Write them down in a constructive way to present to your author. In your assessment: write in complete sentences, include quotes of the author’s original text (to help the author connect your suggestions to their work), and give your author time and space to reflect and improve the work after you give your feedback.

 

(5) Listen and Learn like a legend. Each of us has our own unique voices, tones, and styles in writing. A critique is meant to strengthen the voice of the author, not drown their own with your own. When crafting a critique, empower your author to tell the story to the best of their abilities. Sometimes it’s also helpful to share different videos and articles of other writers elaborating on the topic of improvement. Hearing  varying perspectives on a concept from multiple sources can help bring clarity to an unclear situation, provide both the author and the critic with an alternative ways of viewing their work, and ultimately inspiring thought provoking dialogue on how to best improve the story.

 

THE DOS AND DONTS OF CRITIQUING

 
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"Sometimes, you need to get knocked down, before you can really figure out what you fight is and how you need to fight it." --Chadwick Boseman

WHAT TO DO WHEN RECEIVING A CRITIQUE?

HOW TO RECEIVE A CRITIQUE

If you are an author receiving a writing critique, your main focus should be on being open and receptive to new, opposing, and favorable ideas from another person. Actually listen to what your critic has to say without letting your emotions, ego, or lack of focus get in your way. Avoid arguing with the critic or trying to force them into viewing the work your way, just chill and listen. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and technically you asked for it; so hear them out.

 

It is not mandatory that you agree with everything your critic says, but understand the value in varying perspectives. Use your discernment to determine what works best for your story, and what it could do without. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and/or take notes on what your critic is recommending.

 

After your critique, strongly consider taking a break to marinate on the feedback you have received. Writing is a very intimate process, so it can be difficult to receive a writing critique —especially for the first time; but don’t let that get you down. It gets much easier the more you do it, and it helps to build tough skin. Your critic is just one person —imagine when you release your work into the world. People everywhere will have opinions, so if you can take on one, you will be one step closer to taking on the world. You’ve got this!

 

Enjoy life a little, and find more inspiration before you dive back into the writing process. Take as much time as you need to clear your head, decompress, and get to a point where you too have fresh eyes when re-examining your project.

 

Once you are ready to get back in the swing of things, review your critique, your notes, and your work to re-presence and ground yourself back into your project. Analyze the critique and start determining what works and what doesn’t fit your vision of the story. What did you agree with? What did you get inspired by? What did you find idle? If you are on the fence about an idea or suggestion take some time to experiment with your writing. Have fun! There’s no harm in exploring an idea or concept to see where it goes. If you aren’t satisfied with the result you could always toss it, or use it as inspiration for something else. Plus everyone love a good deleted scene or alternate concept —that’s why we write. Let’s explore the stories!

 

After everything is said and done, you are the author to your story so the final decisions will always be yours to make. You are the author.

 

HOW TO GET A WRITING CRITIQUE?

 
 
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GENERAL MANUSCRIPT CRITIQUE

  • We will have 2-3 creative writers and editors on our team review your manuscript. 

  • There's a flat fee of $200 for up to 20,000 words of material.

  • Writing material can include: manuscripts, short stories, queries,

  • $10 for every 1,000 words thereafter.

  • Manuscript critiques include one revision round.

  • For additional revision rounds we recommend that you share your work in our community for free feedback from other creators to get more ideas, perspectives and feedback; or you are more than welcome to pay for another revision round with us.

WRITING OUTLINE CRITIQUE

  • We will have 2-3 creative writers and editors on our team review your manuscript outline. 

  • There's a flat fee of $100

  • Writing outlines include one revision round.

  • For additional revision rounds we recommend that you share your work in our community for free feedback from other creators to get more ideas, perspectives and feedback; or you are more than welcome to pay for another revision round with us.

CHILDREN'S BOOK WRITING CRITIQUE

  • We will have 2-3 creative writers and editors on our team review your manuscript. 

  • There's a flat fee of $75, for manuscripts under 1000 words. 

  • If your manuscript is between 1,001 - 5,000 words then the flat rate is $150

  • For children's books over 5,001 words, it is considered a "general manuscript".

  • Children’s books include one revision round.

  • For additional revision rounds we recommend that you share your work in our community for free feedback from other creators to get more ideas, perspectives and feedback; or you are more than welcome to pay for another revision round with us.

QUERY CRITIQUE

  • We will have 2-3 creative writers and editors on our team review your query. 

  • There's a flat fee of $50, for query critiques.

  • Queries include one revision round.

  • For additional revision rounds we recommend that you share your work in our community for free feedback from other creators to get more ideas, perspectives and feedback; or you are more than welcome to pay for another revision round with us.

WHAT TO EXPECT WITH OUR WRITING CRITIQUES

-A 15-30m zoom call meet and greet to discuss overall goals and themes of the story

-Our critics will read the work, and write their initial thoughts

-We will reread the work more carefully and critically, and answer the questions in our free downloadable “Writing Critique Analysis Form”.

-We will include additional feedback in the notes section of the form

-We will send you a copy of a “Writing Critique Analysis Form” from 2-3 of our critics for you to review

-We will schedule another 15-45m zoom call to address and answer any questions you have about the analysis.

*PLEASE NOTE*:

Other than queries, included revisions are not  being offered at this time. We highly recommend that you join our community, and share your writing with other creatives for their feedback, advice, and idea in order to create a legendary story. If you would like for the PCCS Team to re-read your material, you must pay the flat rate for your desired service again. 

WHAT HAPPENS AFTER A WRITING CRITIQUE?

Writing critiques are completely subjective. The goal for having a critique is to strengthen the writing in the story. Having a different perspective on your manuscript will help you spot anything that was missed, strengthen weak areas, and give you more ideas. You'd be surprised with how much value, inspiration, and knowledge you gain from variances in perspective and team-building!

 

JOIN THE COMMUNITY

 

NEED WRITING ASSISTANCE?

BUT YOU ARE SAVING MONEY OR SHORT ON CASH?

If your budget is tight, and you are still looking for a writing critique or advice? Become a member of our site and chat with other creators in our free community forums!

Share your writing outlines, short stories, queries, and bits of your manuscript with other creative and insightful people in our forums! 

Be open to opposing, ideas, advice, feedback, criticism, networking, and being inspired by fellow legends!

 

We are all on journeys to telling AMAZING stories that the world is dying to hear. Let's work together in order to make sure that our stories have the impact that we are intending for them to make on our audiences. 

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Once you are happy with your manuscript, get ready for CHARACTER CONCEPTS!

EXPAND THE COMMUNITY

LEARN MORE. DO MORE. BE MORE.

EACH ONE, TEACH ONE.

LISTEN TO "FEAR KILLS DREAMS" BY LES BROWN

"Have a vision. Be demanding." --Colin Powell

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WITH GRATITUDE FROM LEGENDS,

THE PHASE COMICS CREATIVE STUDIOS TEAM