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editing_for_authors
Editing for authors: because every writer needs a good editor.

Nester_Ruzi

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So I’ve decided to start writing my book in google docs. Does anyone have experience being in a group of people critiquing a novel in google docs and how that works? I’m not sure how to assemble a group of people to check out my work. Is the only way to get your stuff critiqued on this site by copying it and pasting it in a thread?
 

Maryn

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Nester, I've shared a beta read through Google docs, in which I posted a novel and my lone reader made corrections, comments, and asked questions. I'm not sure how this process would work for more than one person at a time, but I am admittedly on the low side of the tech curve.

To receive critique here, first you need fifty meaningful posts--no racing through with fast answers--and to follow the guidelines for Share Your Work, which recommends length of excerpt, tells you how to copy and paste with the fewest screw-ups, and much more. You will, for instance, lose indents, so you need to separate paragraphs with a blank line. Read more about Share Your Work here.

One great way to hit those fifty posts is to give to the community before asking it to give to you, by which I mean critique for others.

Maryn, pleased to make your acquaintance
 

Maggie Maxwell

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I've also had a variety of people critique my work in GDocs, but never the same document. What I typically do is send a word doc copy to everyone. Then once I've gotten all of the ones I'm going to get back back (because there will always be people who just don't or can't, for whatever reason, and that's okay), I use Word to combine the various notes into one document, then upload that back into GDocs and use that page as the next draft. It's good to have different documents for each draft, after all.

Where I got those people? Well, right here. Some are friends I've made who I can always count on for a fair critique, some came from an annual event that used to be run where people would anonymously post a quick story blurb and the first few hundred words, and others could volunteer to the host of the event saying, "I want to crit this novel." The host would send those offers on, and it was up to the writer to go from there. That event hasn't run for a few years now, but sticking around, getting to know people in your genre lounge, making friends in the critique rooms, that'll help you get to know people who may be willing to help out for a longer piece than can be posted in the SYW section (which Maryn covered perfectly)
 

TulipMama

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You actually CAN get multiple people to comment on a singular document. It's a fairly simple matter.

1) Right click on the document you'd like to share in your Google Drive.
2) Select Share.
3) Type the email addresses of those who you're sending the document to.
4) Use the drop down box next to their name to give them permissions. Choose 'comment' if you just want them to comment, and not actually edit anything.
5) Hit send :)

Any comments any of the people you include in the email list make will show up in the document in your drive. They're usually colour coded and labeled so you know who said what. I believe that they can also see the comments of others, but I'm not 100% sure on that.

Like Maryn said, you can't request for Beta Readers here until after you've reached 50 meaningful posts.

In the mean time though, you can, and should, putter around, get advice, see what sort of edits you can make to polish up your work. I came here all gung ho "Hey, I'm looking for Beta Readers! Gimme!" and after a few weeks, I was making such massive edits to my book that between then and now, I've full on replaced chapters, and my book is way better for it.

Take advantage of the awesome people here to gain insight on changes you should make well ahead of requesting Beta's, just so you know you're submitting the most polished version of your story you can.
 

Maryn

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Nice clear instructions, TulipMama. I have copied them for my future use. Now all I have to do is finish and polish a novel, right?

Maryn, thinking she can
 

AW Admin

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So I’ve decided to start writing my book in google docs. Does anyone have experience being in a group of people critiquing a novel in google docs and how that works? I’m not sure how to assemble a group of people to check out my work. Is the only way to get your stuff critiqued on this site by copying it and pasting it in a thread?
See the stickies about posting for crit in Share Your Work. You would post brief excerpts, and not expect the entire work to be critiqued in Share Your work. The idea is to apply the feedback you receive on an excerpt to the rest of the work.

You can look for someone to read the entire work as a beta reader, but you should only do that once you have completed the work and revised it.

Writing an entire novel in Google docs is tricky; you would need to have each chapter or section in its one document, because at around 25K words, Google docs starts getting difficult to use.

I would not have multiple people critting the same file. It gets confusing. One reader marking up their own copy is a much better way. I would also not have the entire book critted by more than 5 people, tops.
 

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