Monday, September 24, 2012

Critique Groups

At Amazon
My guest this week is Chris Redding, author of Incendiary, an exciting new romantic mystery from Imajin Books.
 What can I say about critique partners. I had one set, when I first began writing, who were terrible. They kept rewriting my stuff in their style. They also gave me the advice that I should start writing category romance.
I don’t write category. There is NOTHING wrong with category romance. I just don’t write that way. I write darker stuff. Not a lot of description or angst.
The next group I was part of met once a month on a Friday. We’d have pizza. The hostess’ husband was a character, that we actually learned a lot from. I kind of miss Al. And Ann, of course our hostess.
I learned a LOT in this critique group. And I acquired a very thick skin about my writing. (Thanks Irene)
I would not be published without them.
There are some writers who never show their work to beta readers. Not me. I don’t trust my writing enough. I appreciate at least one other set of eyes on my stuff.
These days I am in a smaller critique group. We all write different stuff. One writes category. The other writes more science fiction type romances. The third, our newest member, write YA. We’ve not only helped each other, but we’ve become fast friends. We have seen each other through some crappy times.
And I trust them implicitly with my work. I don’t always do what they suggest, but if I’m not sure, I will err on the side of doing what they suggest.
Everyone should have confidants in their lives. I’m lucky to have two.
Cathi and Kathy have kept me from quitting. They’ve kept me on track. They’ve cheered my successes and I’ve been glad to cheers theirs.
As a write, do you use a critique partner?
As a reader, do you find you seek out the same person when you need advice?

What if your past comes back to haunt you?
Chelsea James, captain of the Biggin Hill First Aid Squad, has had ten years to mend a broken heart and forget about the man who'd left her hurt and bewildered. Ten years to get her life on track. But fate has other plans.
Fire Inspector Jake Campbell, back in town after a decade, investigates a string of arsons, only to discover they are connected to the same arsons he'd been accused of long ago. Now his past has come back to haunt him, and Chelsea is part of that past.
Together, Chelsea and Jake must join forces to defeat their mutual enemy. Only then can they hope to rekindle the flames of passion. But before they can do that, Chelsea must learn to trust again. Their lives could depend on it.


Chris Redding lives in New Jersey with her husband, two kids, one dog and three rabbits. She graduated from Penn State with a degree in Journalism.  When not writing she works for her local hospital in the Emergency Services Department. She has been writing for thirteen years and has five books published. 


Polly Iyer said...

Glad you found critique partners you can trust, Chris. I have two with very different styles, but they see things I don't. I must offer something in return, because I've had them both for years. One partner and I exchange 20+ pages faithfully every two weeks; the other pages, ideas, or big chunks to full manuscripts when the need arises. I don't know what I'd do without them.

Best of luck with Incendiary. It sounds like a terrific romantic mystery.

Chris Redding said...

Ellis, Thanks for having me today.
And yes I am very lucky to have great critique partners.

Leslie Ann aka LA said...

Hi Chris,
I had a 10 member critique group from know where... More purple ink than you can imagine. Mostly they told me how to fix it the same way they'd write it and that would change depending on the mood

I was so confused.

Now I have a critique partner, and I have beta readers. I can't imagine not having people you trust read over your work.

Love the title Incendiary. Best of luck with it.


Ellis Vidler said...

Chris, thanks for being here today. I got your book. I enjoyed The Drinking Game--such fun, snappy dialogue!--and I'm looking forward to this one.

I've been in three critique groups. Most of the comments were very helpful, and they all saw things in a new way. A few went overboard. Now I have one critique partner who's really terrific and has saved me from disaster many times.

Jenny said...

Like you, Chris, I had struggles with the first critique group I joined. I found it difficult working in a critique group where everyone wrote in a different genre. I didn't feel I got the most valuable feedback from others who don't read my stuff, plus I struggled to stay focused when they read their work in genres I don't enjoy. I prefer to use beta readers who like the same types of books I write, although I do miss the face-to-face time.

Nancy Lauzon said...

I wouldn't be the writer I am today without my very special critique partner, who also became my best friend. She always gave honest feedback but in a kind and non-threatening way. We've had a partnership for over 10 years now, and we're both still writing and going strong. Best of luck to you, your book sounds great =)