In this blog, I am sharing how I am mentoring a group of high school science students to write and publish a book about their science research experiences by April 2015 with the goal of selling 500 copies by the end of the school year.
Writing can seem easy as you work on the first draft. The words just flow. Then you begin to look over that draft, and you realize that you could do better. You edit and revise, again and again. After awhile, you almost see mirages of words you edited before, and it becomes impossible to see mistakes.
For students writing a book, this is a real problem. They need to get another set of eyes to look at their draft to help them fix the mistakes. Yet who has time to read and reread a draft book, let alone edit and revise it? Most teachers don’t have that kind of extra time, and other people rarely are interested enough. Only another writer would be willing to help. Therefore, the best people to review a writer’s draft work and help with editing and revising are other writers.
I have six high school science students writing and publishing their own books, so I organized them into a writing critique group. This group is a circle of writers who are dedicated to editing and revising one another’s work. These groups can be organized in different ways—see The Writers Craft for a good description. I told my students to pair up and edit and revise each other’s books, then pair up and do it again with a different person. You can download the Writing Critique Group Guidance I gave them. When they finish, they will all have a well-written, final draft that they can share with beta readers.
Next week, my post will have a tip on how to find beta readers.
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