Its been years since I've learned how to print my name in grade school and I've gone through a major journey through the years. From reading the words printed before me to writing novellas and novels is a rather daunting jump. One I congratulate everyone whose ever written anything be it a good ad or a full length novel on.
I admit I'm no expert when it comes to the English language when its written or spoken. An old quote I'm especially fond of is "I only speak two languages - English and bad english so listen up!" Don't recall where I've read/heard it before so if anyone knows please comment. I've always found it to be very, very true.
In the course of my journey, I've discovered that having someone willing to critique your work is invaluable. You can write the best darn story you've ever believed but if it doesn't flow, than its not going to carry the reader anywhere.
When you feel confident and ready to have someone look at your work and read it for those glaringly obvious typos you can never find, there are several things to look for in a critique partner.
First of course is someone who is willing to dedicate the time to your quest. Recently, I've had people email me wanting to critique only to find that they never respond to my emails requesting information about formatting to send it.
It's a frustrating and depressing reality that critique partners are people the same as you and I. If you have a good one, hang onto them and show your appreciation! Don't just keep pouring the work on and never express your opinion and gratitude. That'll get you zip, a lot of chapters on your hard drive with no critiquer to look at them.
And second, remember a critique is just that, a critique. I've rejected suggestions by a critiquer because they don't help the story one bit. For me if they send me something back that I know hasn't been looked at by anyone other than me and it's says okay, looks good I begin to wonder. Have they read it? Did they really look and see what they were reading or did they just skim through it?
Be open to opinions, be willing to look beyond your own ego and you'll find that the page covered in red ink being returned to you is a good thing. Don't get discouraged, don't get angry and toss in the towel...have faith. You'll be successful even if it takes a while!