Illusion and Critique

A bit of news in today’s post. First, since I told you all that my novel An Illusion of Trust was a finalist for a 2014 Best of the Independents eBook Award, I thought I should post an update. As you can see from the graphic, the book won in the General Fiction category!

2014win2If you voted, thank you. If you didn’t vote, maybe you’ll consider reading it. You can use the Look Inside feature or download the Kindle sample here.

This is also the day I submitted my first pages to a new critique group. I believe I mentioned, almost a year ago, that I was taking a Women’s Fiction Writers Association workshop on critique to be placed in a group. Unfortunately, that first group didn’t work out. But now I’m in another group which looks promising.

I’ve worked in live critique groups before, so this online group will be a new experience. We’ve proposed to have discussions via video chat though, so I guess it’s sort of a hybrid. Of course, you know from my last post that I’ll be anxious about the chat thing, but I’m determined to do it.

I’ve now produced three and a third novels without benefit of feedback throughout the writing process, and I’m not in favor of that. I’d prefer to have confidence that when I send my work to my beta readers, it’s nearly polished not something that might need major revision.

To me, it makes sense to have a problem pointed out before it’s been multiplied throughout an entire novel. If several writers agree that there’s a problem with voice or tone or plot, I’d rather consider that change early on.

Speaking of critique, my romantic comedy is out for feedback from a friend and former critique partner. I planned this to be a shorter novel than my first two, but the word count ended up less than I intended, so maybe she’ll be able to point out ways to add length. I don’t want to pad it with filler, of course, but I sometimes forget to put everything I “see” on the page. Then again, maybe it’s meant to be a short, fun read.

As I wait for feedback on my paranormal and my rom-com novels, I’ll continue my women’s fiction WIP. Next year is going to be BIG for me.

Whatever you’re doing this week, I wish you well.

 

Linda

Whence cometh thy critique?

In the last few days, I started three different blog posts and finished nary a one. Obviously, I’m out of touch with my brain right now. I spent two afternoons working in the garden, so it could be an allergy effect. In any case, I have nothing particularly witty or profound to say at the moment. (But I do sometimes, don’t I?)

In the last few days, I started three different blog posts and finished nary a one. Obviously, I’m out of touch with my brain right now. I spent two afternoons working in the garden, so it could be an allergy effect. In any case, I have nothing particularly witty or profound to say at the moment. (But I do sometimes, don’t I?)

I am working on both a novel and some short stories. Oooh, I just thought of how Demetri Martin writes with both hands at the same time. Wouldn’t it be cool if I could type on two keyboards simultaneously—one for the short story and the other for the novel chapter? I could be as prolific as Joyce Carol Oates. Not as good a writer, of course, but equally prolific. (Forgive me, I’m writing this with a headache.)

ANYWAY, I’ve been wondering how I’ll get critique on my works-in-progress. I no longer have access to a live critique group, and I’ve never been able to work up enthusiasm for joining online groups where I know no one—or more importantly—know nothing about anyone’s writing skills.

That led me to wondering how you all get feedback on your work. Do you seek it from one, a few, or many? Do you prefer live groups or virtual? Have those preferences changed over time? If you’re in a group, how does yours work? Specifically: How often do you meet? Do you read aloud? Do you receive the work ahead of time and critique at home, so you only discuss it at the meeting? How many members do you think is optimum? Do you critique all lengths of work?

What say ye?

Image © Drawing Hands by M. C. Escher, 1948