Monday, May 23, 2011

Update, and the importance of Critique Partners and Beta-Readers

Wow, everyone, sorry for the total lack of updates!

I signed the contract with my agent about 2 weeks ago,(WOOHOO!!) and I'm so excited to be working with her! I'm also really excited to announce my next two books in The Keeper Series: UPRISING and TORRENT. WOO! Currently, I am 15,000 words into Uprising (first draft), and I'm hoping to have it finished COMPLETELY by October! Wish me luck, and sorry in advance for my busy schedule which interferes with my blog!

I think everyone can agree that the agent process is stressful, tiresome, and a bit depressing at times. You've written a book--a book you love--why isn't an agent "falling in love" with it?

Because haven't we all heard: "I didn't fall in love with it?" I know I have! And it was like a bad break up! Hahahaha

I'm no expert, but the biggest thing I can stress to every writer is: GET A CRITIQUE PARTNER AND a BETA-READER. No, get two or three. And I'm not talking your husband (although, mine is GREAT help) or your best friend. I'm talking someone who is not biased. Someone who is a writer and knows the craft.

I have three critique partners, and let me tell you, they know the craft. They are the nicest people, but brutally honest. They critique the book one chapter at a time and help me find awkward phrases, typos, "telly" graphs, and SO much more. If the chapter doesn't work, they tell you. This is a great way to make sure each chapter "hooks" and moves the plot forward. Sometimes the feedback is not what I want to hear, but when I come back to the critique, after a few hours, I see where they are coming from, and I start my revision or edit of the chapter. I can honestly say, I've rewritten a single chapter COMPLETELY 3-4 times. And once it was done, I was thrilled with it. (I believe it was chapter 23 hahaha.)

So, get a good Critique Partner.

To me, a Beta-Reader is a lot different than a Critique Partner. If you can help it, have someone who is NOT your Critique Partner Beta-Read. You'll need fresh eyes on the script, trust me. I have two writers and two avid readers who read the entire script. They give me feedback on character development, plot progression, pace, plot holes (if any) and their over all reactions of the story. And If I said they didn't catch typos, I'd be lying because they sure do! And I REALLY appreciate them for that, too!!

Both Critique Partner and Beta-Reader play SUCH an important role in the book writing process. is a GREAT place to find both.

Happy writing, everyone!