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Words Perfect is featured today as Sunday's Book #MFRWAuthor #Writing


Not everyone has access to a good critique group. If you're on your own and need someone to help polish your manuscript so it shines in the eyes of agents and editors, look no further. Using examples from their own work and a huge dash of humor, veteran authors Jane Toombs and Janet Lane Walters guide both the new writer and the experienced through the labyrinth of self-editing.

Becoming Your Own Critique Partner by Janet Lane Walters (2006-09-13)

Amazon Customer
Mayra Calvani--Midwest Book Review

February 16, 2007

Format : Mass Market Paperback
This new book on self-editing written by two very prolific authors is one you'll definitely want to add to your bookshelf.

What are the major problems you should be on the lookout for when editing your own work? The answer isn't always easy, as authors tend to become so involved in their plot and characters they turn blind to the obvious. Sometimes the problems are easy to spot and fix, sometimes not. Whatever the case, Walters and Toombs guide you through the process of completely editing your fiction manuscript.

With specific examples taken from their own works, the authors demonstrate how to handle telling instead of showing, stilted and flat dialogue, weak and unrealistic characters, unnecessary scenes, overuse of adjectives and adverbs, lack of atmosphere, point of view shifts, bloated prose, clichés, among others. They also share the secret to strong characters and the six necessary elements to a master plot. Each chapter concentrates on a specific subject, with helpful exercises at the end of it.

Written in a clear, friendly, straight-forward style, Becoming Your Own Critique Partner is a reference book that both beginners and professionals will profit from.

Reviewed in the United States on April 20, 2011
Verified Purchase
I was excited to receive this book in the mail today and I sat down and read it in one sitting. It is full of useful information that I will use again and again. I'm definitely glad that I bought it.


Norman Goldman "Editor of"

Checking out the Internet as well as various other sources I notice there is a great deal of excellent advice on writing techniques. Unfortunately, many aspiring writers as well as experienced ones either neglect the advice or are unaware of its existence.
There are also local critique groups and countless workshops, seminars, and other avenues where writers can learn how to improve their writing skills, however often it is not convenient for one reason or another to participate in these tutorials.
Authors Jane Toombs and Janet Lane Walters have combined their 63 years of writing experience and knowledge to come up with a practical solution to help us become our own critique partner with their 236 page manual, Becoming Your Own Critique Partner, particularly when participation in a critique group is either impossible or impractical.

The primary focus of the book is, as the authors mention in their introduction, "to find the flaws in your manuscript and correct them." The most obvious flaws that are examined and explored are telling too much and not showing, weak and flat dialogue, the black moment when the focus character (villain or hero) in the story believes all is lost, scenes and their relevance, where to use adjectives and adverbs, finding ways to use the appropriate senses, pacing, effectively using points of view, plugging holes in your plot, cutting the fat from the bone, avoiding clichés, what not to do with the details, places where mood in the story affects your characters, finding your theme and using it to solidify your plot, spotting awkward time and place shifts, characters and their motivation, ways to keep the heart in your writing, questions writers should ask themselves about minor but pertinent errors, and the proper use of words that are not annoying.

The chapters of the book are knitted together into a cohesive whole in the form of a workshop-style. Each concludes with a checklist and useful exercises that help the reader reinforce the principles that are expounded upon. There are numerous examples taken from the authors' own published works illustrating the wrong and right ways of writing as well as the various stumbling points to keep you from being led astray.

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