This topic was chosen by the lovely Sarah who wanted to know:
Do you work with critique partners? How did you find your crit pals, and what influence have they had on your work?
Oh yes. I have crit partners. Probably too many LOL but I've met so many awesome writers over the years and we pretty much all exchange manuscripts at least once in a while.
My very first group I found by googling. I met some great people on there, learned a TON. I was a very VERY newbie writer. Had finished one book, paid an editor to go through it, gotten a few good suggestions from him, but it wasn't until this group (and one awesome lady in particular, Jeannie Ruesch) got a hold of it that I actually started pulling that poor manuscript together.
I can't believe how much she taught me. Stuff I'd never heard before. The adverb rule, POV tricks/rules/no-nos, ways to show different sides to my character - for all those who have read Treasured Lies, the pea scene was suggested by Jeannie. If she hadn't taken me under her wing, I don't know where I would be right now. I think I've mentioned before that I once wrote a scene where I had FOUR povs going on in ONE paragraph. Yeah...Jeannie was the one who explained why that was bad LOL
My other critters I met through QueryTracker. Toni Wilson (we are often called the eTwins by our QT friends) - I send everything to her. I mean literally everything. She often crits my emails before I send them LOL
Kristal Shaff and Cole Gibsen - again, these amazing women read pretty much everything I write. And I've learned so much from each of them. They are all awesome with things like plot flow, word choice, motivations, plot holes (and Kristal and Toni in particular are great at pointing out when I'm going overboard on the romance LOL). These women ready all my stuff and they are so incredibly sweet about reading my pages over and over again. I think they know my stories more than I do sometimes LOL
I met Elana Johnson through QT and joined a crit group with her and the absolutely wonderful Christine Fonseca. Elana is amazing - she will tell you how it is and she doesn't let you get away with anything. I usually get my pages back thinking "yeah, I knew she'd mark that." :D I'm slowly learning to just remove it before she has to mark it up LOL
Christine is amazing with emotions - I can go way overboard with them sometimes...and sometimes I don't have enough. She keeps me on track with my plot and characters and their motivations and personalities. She is also a fellow Non-fiction writer and is my main critter for all things NF (though Toni reads some of that stuff for me as well) :) It's so wonderful to have someone I can send those pages too. I don't know what I'd do without her.
And I also have my amazing Operation Awesome gals. I joined their group not too long ago (actually...I think it's been a year or so now!) It's been wonderful having a fresh group of eyes and learning from each of them - both from their crits of my work and from my crits of their work. They are an incredible group of women and I am so lucky to be a part of their group.
When I lived in Utah I was very privileged to be part of a live group with Bethany Wiggins and Bonny Anderson. I still send them pages and am always thrilled to read theirs, though I miss seeing them face-to-face :)
I have several other friends and readers that I send my pages too. They are all priceless to me. I would never be able to make it down this road without them.
Who are your critters and how did you meet them?
Be sure to see who PK shreds paper with and stop by Tere's tomorrow to find out about her crit pals :)