Critique Group

I continue to be amazed by this group of people.

Once upon a time, I heard that police canvass an area after a crime, asking every single witness to describe what they saw because each person sees something different.  They then take all the stories and build a sort of composite blending together the common elements.  I’ve no idea if this is true or not, but I do believe that each person sees something different.

Critique group supports this idea.  I am just blown away by the different things different people catch.  The devil really is in the details.  Some folks see the punctuation mistakes, others have an eye for grammar, some for pov or tense.  Then you get into finer details like folks who’ve served in the military pointing out how soldiers would really react to a certain situation or hunters explaining mistakes in butchering an animal – things that go over my head.

I see logic errors or places where something needs to be expanded with more detail.  Everyone sees something different.


Also talking of the critique group, I turned a member onto two cool things:

  • Scrivener
  • Text to Speech (on Mac)

(I still need to write up Scrivener for the blog…)  Scrivener is a piece of writing software designed for the Mac.  It takes all the hassle of a word processor away from the front end and frees you up to write – there is no better explanation of it.

Text to speech is something built into the Mac OS that you can turn on/off inside of System Preferences.

When turned on, you can tie it to a keyboard command, then select some text and have the computer read it back to you in either a male or female voice (and there’s a couple different choices for each).  Where this comes in handy for a writer is in hearing your prose read out loud.  When you hear how it sounds, it can point out problems that simply reading it doesn’t illustrate.

Comes in handy. 🙂



  • FARfetched Posted March 28, 2011 10:08 am

    I’m trialing Scrivener myself, and it made a very good first impression on me that hasn’t yet been blunted by any untoward behavior. Good thought on text to speech, I’ve heard of people making audiobooks that way. Using it for catching awkward passages makes so much sense I hadn’t thought about it. 😛

    • Patrick Hester Posted March 28, 2011 10:21 am

      I know a lot of people who are using the Windows Beta of Scrivener and have been very frustrated by it. I love the software and hope they can deliver a stable release very soon.

      Yeah, someone else actually mentioned the text to speech thing to me and I have been all over it ever since 🙂

      The idea of reading, out loud, your writing isn’t a new one. I do it sometimes and will see where something doesn’t work – especially with dialogue.


  • Paul Posted March 28, 2011 10:09 am

    Critique group supports this idea. I am just blown away by the different things different people catch.

    I have a friend who (was) a cop. This is absolutely correct.

    • Patrick Hester Posted March 28, 2011 10:21 am

      good to know! 🙂


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