STAGE TWO: FIND A CRITIQUE PARTNER(S)
One of the smartest things I ever did was find a critique partner who helped fuel me to write better, to be better. But one thing to remember? It is a two-way street. You have to be willing to return the same favor they are doing for you—so you have to ensure you get along with the person and that your writing styles/genres are similar and engaging.
My critique partner and I would exchange 1-3 chapters at a time and then read and take notes on anything that needed to be addressed. I was lucky enough to find a critique partner that went all in, even evaluating the spelling and grammar in my novel. This is not to be expected from a critique partner, but if you can find someone who doesn’t mind, jump on it!