I’m moving to a different state tomorrow, so this post is brief by necessity.
I can’t speak highly enough of critique partners and feedback. It is TERRIFYING to put yourself out there. Even if it’s just a query or the first 250 words of your novel. But it’s so worth it. I’ve done many revisions of both my query, my first 250 words, and by extension the rest of my novel because of the wonderful comments I’ve received (most public, but some behind the scenes from my CPs as well).
Not wonderful because they made me feel good. Wonderful because they were honest, forthright, and helpful. I needed to hear about what I was doing wrong, where I was unclear, how my characters’ voices weren’t coming through, how my POV was inconsistent.
I took a chance by posting to the New Agent Query Critique blog hop, and I’ve reaped so many rewards I don’t know how I’ll ever pay back the writing community. So my IWSG advice is to take a plunge, find someone who’s willing to critique your writing, and become a better writer for it.
(Just keep a few friendly beta readers in your back pocket for the hard days. I got feedback from a friend who loved an earlier, less polished version of my novel, and that made me walk on air for a while.)