Having your work read by someone else is a really good exercise. Sometimes, after I have read and re-read my work, I can’t ‘see’ anymore. It seems too perfect and I can’t change it, nor can I see grammatical errors that are actually staring me in the face. A different pair of eyes, and someone reading from a ‘reader’ viewpoint can pick out inconsistencies in the story, too much repetition, things that don’t work, grammatical errors and so on. I don’t mind another’s criticism. I don’t always take all the advice on board but I usually find at least two or three things that another suggests that I quite like. I use it to improve my story and I really think it does. I also find leaving my work for a few days or longer is also successful. I come back to it with a fresh pair of eyes and all of a sudden things jump out at me that I need to change, new ideas arise, or I think of better ways to communicate a concept.
I highly recommend peer reviewing.
Here is a summary of my last three blogs:
1 The first draft – just write what comes, don’t self-censor, let your mind run free and let the story take you where it wants to go.
2 Drafting – now we come to improving the story. It is time to work on perfecting the piece, playing with literary techniques to improve the quality of the story and finally fixing up grammar.
3 Peer reviewing – when you feel like you can’t change anything else, get someone else to look at it. They will ‘see’ things that you cannot and this can add a new element to your story that you never thought of.