I can’t say enough about the wisdom of having someone else look at your writing. No one is immune from mistyping. And the human brain is known for its ability to make us think we wrote what we wanted to write, not what we really did. Ever got one of those emails with all the words misspelled? It’s a demo of how the brain can rearrange all the misplaced letters so a garbled mess makes sense. WORD doesn’t catch them all. Three and there, same letters, both real words. And then there are misplaced modifiers, dangling clauses, words used in the wrong context and overused words, none of which a word processor can detect. Definitions also change over the years. A seasoned writer might use nauseous where a newer one would choose nauseated.
Critique groups are great learning tools for any new writer. Sure its tough having your work ripped apart until it bleeds red. But gaining the skill to put it back together in a better form makes it so worthwhile. I am grateful for the people who taught me and supported me through tough times in my local writers’ organization, Emerald Coast Writers. Well, there was one who shall remain unnamed that caused nothing but heartbreak. But our chairman did a great job of handling that problem.
A warning to any critique group member, remember to sandwich your criticisms to tender new writers. Start with the positive, then point out the worst problems, and end with something positive. In fact, that’s a good way to treat even the veterans. Sometimes I forget that. Its never good to become impatient with someone else’s mistakes. Unless you’re God, you make them too.