Need some feedback on your work, but can’t afford to pay someone for it?
No one has the time to read your chapters for free?
Offer them a critique swap!
Get together with some writing buddies (or look for people in writing groups) and arrange to read and give feedback on each other’s work.
Things to consider when you are making the arrangements:
- Are you doing a chapter for chapter/a novel for novel critique swap or a have you agreed on a word count? If you wrote 50K words, but the other person has 135K, then, obviously, you’d have more material to critique than them.
- Agree on a certain amount of chapters/words to be critiqued within a certain period and stick to that plan.
- Meet up regularly to discuss each other’s work and any changes the two of you have done after the other person has critiqued the writing. You’ll have to make time for this and, if you are doing it online, you might have to deal with time zone differences.
Things to consider when choosing a critique partner:
- How well do you know this person? Are they reliable or someone who’s likely to hand you their novel for feedback, but will keep coming up with excuses when it’s their turn to deliver on your arrangement? If you don’t know them in person, ask around about them. Check out their social media and see what they are like.
- How well do you know their writing? There’s no point in getting a partner “who rites like dis” and whose book looks more like a story outline than an actual story. Ask for a sample of their writing.
- Do you think you’d be interested in each other’s work? If you write sweet Romances and hate reading Sci-Fi and the other person is not into Romance and only writes Sci-Fi… Well, you are probably not a good match.
- I’ve mentioned this before, but consider time zone differences. Writing notes to each other is one thing, talking in real time – a whole other story.