Catch the wind

Catch the wind

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

…crittering!





im a critter!
 
nope! for sure im not some kinda strange and weird book browsing beasty. im a manuscript critter and that means im a cool "critique partner" or like some people call it a "beta buddy." for me i just like being called a "critter." 
 
what is a critter?
 
 its someone who reads your manuscript (mostly a fiction ms) and gives you ideas for making it read better. some of the stuff a critter checks out is grammar, spelling, character,  dialog, continuity, flow and style. 
 
i gotta tell you  its not an easy job. you gotta wanna do it and it takes a lotta time if youre gonna do it right.
 
what makes a real good critter?

a good critter is always honest and gives you truthful feedback.

a good critter is always polite and respectful and say things in a positive and thoughtful way. he never says stuff that makes you feel bad or makes you feel like youre a really rotten writer. ack!

a good critter recognizes the good stuff and tells you and praises you for it.

a good critter is encouraging and gives you hope.

am i a agood critter?
x
yikes! i got no idea! so far i didnt do a lotta crittering. mostly i did a few mg and kit lit manuscripts. i just hope what i did was a big help for the authors. i did get a lotta thanks. :) im thinking the more crittering i do the better im gonna get at it. 

are you a critter?

i love being a critter! how bout you? do you like critting? are you a good critter?

...hugs from lenny


55 comments:

  1. Well, you certainly helped me when you critted my manuscript. Or is it "crittered" my manuscript?

    I'll tell you what was most helpful about your crit. Of course, I loved it whenever you told me you liked something -- thought it was funny or exciting. (All authors like that part.)

    But the most useful part was when you didn't understand something, or were confused. Those are the parts I need to work on. If I left out an explanation or didn't give enough detail or didn't make it clear that one scene was a flashback (remember that one?), then those are places for me to focus my revisions.

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  2. Sorry I haven't been around lately, Lenny, but certainly enjoyed your post and know you are a good critter! A big hug to you! Keep up the good work!

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  3. How interesting, I didn't know this other definition of critter, whose attributes, as well as name, may come from that other critter, a dog, cat, or a donkey even. They too are honest, truthful, respectful (mostly) and being around them certainly encourages you and gives you hope. My dog Samson says he learns a lot from chewing on my books, but of course, these critters don't know how to read or offer feedback. It's been fun to learn of new critters that I am sure are very helpful to writers.

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  4. Honesty is always the best policy, Lenny, in life as well as in being a proper CP. Great point. I always start with positives I find throughout a manuscript and then move forward with suggestions to improve the story.

    Hope all is well!

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  5. I bet you're an awesome critter from reading these posts. And how cool you read one of Dianne's manuscripts. So agree what you say about good critiquing. And I follow the same rules as Sheri does. Hope you're having a great summer. Ours starts after tomorrow.

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  6. You're the best at everything, Lenny. You know why? Because you are one person who gets it right. I mean the part about living your life the right way. That will make you the BEST at whatever you do in life. (Of course I mean owning a race horse with the coolest name ever!) *wink* Cool guy, cool race horse!

    Thanks for the great talk on crittering. I am always going to call it that from now on! Encouragement is the best part of crittering. So much in a writers life is negative.

    (The font looks good to me!)

    HUGE HUGS!

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  7. One can never have enough critters! And it's exactly what you said - it's hard 'cause you really got to concentrate and focus on each word, and it's even harder to tell someone where something doesn't work, but that's the best thing you can do for them and why they sent it to you.

    Great post!

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  8. Critters are awesome! I enjoy helping other authors with their stories.

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  9. I am enjoying crittering right now. Not sure how good I am, but I'm doing my best.

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  10. Hi Lenny - delighted I now about a second critter - the reading one .. that's brilliant that you've been crittering for authors. I'm sure you've been helpful especially if you ask for explanations ...

    But I love hearing about all your critters and life in general - being and staying positive is the main thing in life ..

    Have fun and if it's hot and warm your side of the pond - lucky you ... we're trying to play tennis in the rain and gales - well I'm not - the main players are!!

    Cheers and hugs and love from 'our critters' Hardwick, Muddy Hippo, Zdena and Rocky .. all well here .. Hilary

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  11. Lenny, you are an outstanding critter! You have not only helped improve my spelling, characters, word choices, but you caught three very important historical errors I had in my manuscript. And of course you were right, as I looked them up to double check. (Which is what one should do.) I'm so glad that you are one of my critters. :) HUGS from Blom

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  12. I have a critter buddy, too! Critters are invaluable for writers. I'm sure you're a wonderful critter! Happy crittering, Lenny!

    Happy reading and writing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

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  13. I love critters. I don't know what I would do without them. Being a critter myself, I find that I learn just as much when I crit other people's work as I do when people crit my work. Sometimes even more. It's an amazing thing, don't you think?

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  14. I love being a critter and being crittered. :) I would be lost without mine. They can see things that I can't see because I'm too wrapped up in the story. I always try to note the positive before the stuff that needs work, because I think that makes people more willing to listen. :) Hope you are well!

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  15. Your posts always make me smile, Lenny!

    I've been in a critter group for 4 years now, and I enjoy it because I learn so much from the crittering. I never see the flaws in my own stories. And being a critter for others helps me grow as a writer.

    One of the workshops I attended last weekend suggested we synthesize the crittering. Don't do exactly what a critter tells you to do. Listen to all the different crits and let it sink in for a few days. Wait and think it over. THEN make changes to your manuscript that feel right to YOU.

    Keep at it, Lenny. I'm sure with your thoughtfulness, you make a great critter!

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  16. I love this post, Lenny! I'm critiquing my best friend's manuscript, and I love it! Writers need good critter friends!

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  17. I was SOOOOOO nervous the first time I did a crit for someone. It's such a huge responsibility! I'm better at it now too - mostly because my critter buddies and I have a great relationship. We can totally trust each other to be honest and kind and helpful. Great post Lenny!

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  18. I was just telling my older sis today how much I love my critters. Being that invested in somebody else's work just makes you that much more excited for them when they succeed.

    Thanks for another great post, Lenny!

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  19. Hi Lenny! A fun and informative post as always!

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  20. I have a feeling you're a fabulous critter, Lenny.

    I love critiquing too. I'm in several writing groups and always love to give and receive feedback about writing and stories. It's one of the best things about my creative writing class in university that I really miss too. Critiquing teaches to much about how to write well, it's one of the best teaching methods for writers.

    Jai

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  21. There's nothing like a good critter! Love this post, Lenny!

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  22. Critiquing manuscripts is the number one way I become a better writer!

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  23. Hi Lenny!!! I have to agree with you...a good critter is an honest critter!

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  24. That's awesome Lenny! I know for me, the best thing I did to develop as a writer was to start critiquing! I learned so much :)

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  25. i like your post thank's for our information !

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  26. Lenny, I wrote about how to be the critiquee a couple of weeks ago! Your advice is spot on. We all worry we're not good enough critiquers. It's a big responsibility!

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  27. I try to be a good critter, but I always worry that I will miss stuff or just be wrong!

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  28. Hi Lenny - Happy Birthday for Sunday .. wishing you a dry, fun day with family and friends and critters ... big hugs - Hilary, Linda, Zdena, Hardwick and Rocky ... xoxoxoxox

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  29. Hilary's mentioned your big day so I came to give you a visit, wave, and great day birthday wishes!

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  30. Hey, Lenny! I read about your birthday on Hilary's site and wanted to send my own Happy Birthday wishes! I am a lover of all critters and always love to meet another animal lover. :) Enjoy your day!

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  31. Happy Birthday, Lenny, in advance for Sunday! Saw the hint at Hilary's blog. What Hilary suggests is usually a good idea.
    Nice macaron cake - but don't eat too many. They're light but sweet. MMM. I like them too.

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  32. HAPPY BIRTHDAY LENNY!!
    I'm coming in from Ms Hilary @positive letters

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  33. Happy almost Birthday, Lenny! I hope your birthday is filled with fun, presents, and most importantly...cake. :) Love you bunches and bunches...<3 Blom

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  34. Happy Birthday for tomorrow Lenny! *waving*
    I hope you have a SUPER-CALI-FRAGI-LISTIC-EXPIALI-DOCIOUS day!
    (Gary sent me here... you know that dude with Penny the Jack Russell who is a modest Internet star? Yep, that same one...)

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  35. i hear sunday is a big day for you! sweet!! critter...sounds like i crawl all over their pages leaving trails of goop, but we like to call them red marks of magic, right?? great meeting and finding you!

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  36. Happy Birthday, Lenny. I'm visiting from Hilary's blog and hope you have a wonderful day!

    Mary Montague Sikes

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  37. Miss your blog posts, Lenny! Thinking of you and wishing you a happy birthday. Eat all the cake you want!

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  38. Heard it was your birthday and I'm here to wish you a happy one!

    Lee
    Wrote By Rote

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  39. Happy birthday tomorrow Lenny!! I'm terrible at remembering dates, but Sharon's post reminded me! Wishing you all the very best and hoping you have a fantastic day tomorrow. Hope you're well! *hugs*

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  40. Hi, Lennie,
    I understand from your friend. Gary Pennick. that you have a birthday tomorrow. Hope you enjoy your special day!

    I agree with you that the more critiques you do the better you will become at it. Good pointers.

    J.L. Campbell writes Jamaican Kid Lit

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  41. Greetings from NY! A friend of Gary and Penny's here, popping by to wish you a very happy birthday, all the cake you can eat without getting a stomachache, and lotsa fun crittering!

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  42. Happy 14th Birthday Lenny! Gary and Hilary are always saying wonderful things about you, and they both have terrific taste in critters! Enjoy your special day Lenny!

    Julie

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  43. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE BEST FRIEND IN THE WHOLE DOGGONE WORLD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Love you tons and tons and tons and tons!!!!!!!!!!! (Eat lotsa cake!) xoxo

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  44. Happy Happy Birthday, Lenny! I hope you have a really special day.
    Tina @ Life is Good

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  45. Happy Birthday Lenny! Have a wonderful day! I never heard of crittering before, sounds like you enjoy it and that's good.
    Rhonda @Laugh Quotes

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  46. Happy birthday, Lenny! Sending you lots of hugs and good wishes for a fun and fabulous day!

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  47. Have a wonderful gorgeous and utterly beautiful birthday Lenny! Take care
    x

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  48. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Lenny! I hope it has been an AWESOME day!

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  49. Happy, Happy, Happy Birthday Lenny!!! ><(((º>

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  50. Greetings Lenny,

    I'm one of your best friend critters. On behalf of my human, Gary, I sure hope you had a really nice birthday, Lenny.

    Pawsitive wishes and doggy hugs,

    Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar! :)

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  51. Happy Birthday Lenny! Sorry I am a bit late. Hope your day was great! :)

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whatever wonderful, warm, witty and wise words you manage to come up with!