With almost seventy percent of Americans wanting to write, one would think there would be far more tools out there. It has taken some time for me to find them. Let me save you some time and effort.
My first breakthrough in my quest to find an economical sources for critiques and editing was Critique Circle. My second breakthrough I found in their forum, ProWritingAid. Here’s why you should use both of them:
- You get both sides of the coin as a writer
- You save a ton of money on editing
When you write, you may experience a cycle of content and discontent. In other words, there may be times when you hate your work or get sick of it. Dorothy Parker once said, “I hate writing, I love having written.” It’s easy for a published author of several novels to say it’s a wonderful career. He or she has completed their work and it was accepted.
But, when you’re in the middle of a novel and you’re running out of steam, you may need a break. That’s when I head on over to Critique Circle and start reading someone else’s work. It’s FREE but you can upgrade for more benefits. The most that would cost you is $10 for one month or less than $4 a month if you pay for the year. Well worth it if you have an entire novel written.
Here are a few of the benefits I’ve experienced:
- I discovered I know stuff (grammar, spelling, punctuation)
- It felt really good to help someone else do what I want to do
- By critiquing as a reader, I was learning as a writer
- As a writer, I’m not alone
- It has a buddy system so you almost feel like you’re in school
- It’s a two or three to one ratio of critique/getting critiqued
- It forces you to pull up your bootstraps and let someone else see your work
- Stranger critiques are far more honest than friends and family
- I’m saving myself a ton of time, money, and embarrassment
At Critique Circle (they call themselves CC), they call critiquing “critting” — that would make us “critters,” I guess. Here’s a video on how it works.
Before you post your blog, assignment, short story, poem, or chapter, head over to ProWritingAid. When I critique, I only have a certain amount of time and patience. If the work is riddled with spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors, I never really get to critique the story. It’s a waste of the writer’s and reader’s time. At ProWritingAid, you can copy-paste your work into their writing tool and fix those.
They also have the plagiarism tool and a lot of other goodies but it’s only free for the first 500 words. Premium is $40 for the year or less if you buy two years and so on. Consider the cost of editing (average of $35/hour) and you’ll see it’s worth it.
If you know of other economical tools and groups that have helped you as a writer, please let us know about it in the comments below. You can also let me know what information you’d like to see in the next blog.