So far we’ve gone over all the different ways to critique, I wanted to mention my final one, which is Gamma.
Now, this is a personal designation, and it tells me that my manuscript is now in copy editing and polish phase.
Alpha was about getting the story down.
Beta was about getting the emotion into the story.
Gamma is about polishing the prose to make it shine and fix any grammatical or punctuation errors. This phase is when I send my manuscript to my copy editor, and once I get it back from her, and fix everything, I then polish it on my own.
So how can you critique this phase? Well, all you grammar Nazis that have been itching to bust out your red pen since the initial brainstorming session can finally have an elated victory lap. I repeatedly said that previous stages were NOT about grammar, but were about other things, story, plot, characters, emotion.
Let your red pen fly free sister!
As for the polishing phase, there isn’t a lot to really critique here, but you can pay attention to certain things at this point.
Read the prose out loud, preferably with a partner. My wife and I do this together, I export the story to my iPad, and she follows along in Scrivener while I read the story out loud.
If what I say sound different from what is on the page, we mark it for possible review. Notice I said possible. Sometimes the brain just changes things on the fly, but if it does, ask if your phrase was clunky enough that the human brain doesn’t like it, and possibly fix it.
That’s about all I have at this point. Tomorrow MY BOOK COMES OUT!
I’m super excited about it, and I’ve already gotten some early reviews that I’m super proud of.