Monday, March 14, 2011

Crit Round This Week!

Time for some more in-house critique!

Submissions will open this Wednesday at 3:00 pm EDT for our first TALKING HEADS round!

TALKING HEADS means just what it sounds like:  I want you to find an excerpt from your novel that is dialogue-rich.  Maximum 250 words.  And that's what we'll be critiquing.

Dialogue is an important part of story-telling.  And writing believable, natural dialogue can be challenging. We don't want our characters to sound like B-movie actors, but sometimes they do.  So let's expose them when they're talking a lot and weed out the not-so-good stuff.

What mistakes do we sometimes make?

  • Big chunks of info-dumpy words.  Real people don't speak in paragraphs.
  • Awkard, wordy prose.  Real people don't sound like dictionaries.
  • Bland sameness.  Real people have different speaking styles.
  • Odd spellings, apostrophes, etc., in order to connote colloquialism or accent.  Real people do have different ways of saying things, but if we can't read it, we won't know what they're saying at all.
Anyway, the guidelines will post on Wednesday, and we'll take the first 10, like last time.  In the meantime, comb your manuscript for a heavy bit of dialogue that you'd like critiqued.  And post your questions below!


  1. If we participated in the last critique session are we allowed to participate in this one?

  2. I'd like to know the same thing. Can we submit the same manuscript that we used last time?

  3. Since we are not a community of thousands (yet!), and since the Talking Heads excerpt is going to be from a different place in your manuscript, then yes, please do enter again this time.

    Rules will change as we grow bigger. :)