Well, folks. It was fun while it lasted.

As you can see, not much has been happening on this blog lately.

There are several reasons for this, but I will only hit on a couple:

First: It's amazing how much can change in a couple of months--both in our personal lives and on the writing front. A couple of us have signed publishing contracts, and so the need to write, edit, market, promote HAD to take preference over this blog and the services we were providing.

Second: Running this blog, critiquing submissions, providing feedback...well, that's a LOT of dang work. We weren't getting paid for this service. We had a concept and we went with it--for free--not realizing how much time it would involve with very little (nothing) in return for our effort.

Third: Probably the biggest factor that made us come to this decision, was the fact that a good portion of the submissions we received just weren't ready. They needed more revision. We were wanting to give out reviews on AMAZING, fully complete, well edited novels. 90% of what we received didn't come close.

So we've shut it down. We've moved on.

If you liked our comments and our posts, you can check us out on our individual blogs:

Angela Scott: www.whimsywritingandreading.weebly.com or @whimsywriting on twitter or http://www.facebook.com/AngelaScottWriter

D.S. Tracy:

Kacey Mark:

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Need a critique partner? Let us help you find one.

Posted by Ready, Aim, Hook Me at 4:00 AM
For the most part of my writing career (if you could call it that), I'd been on my own. I didn't know other writers. Not a one. I wrote in solitude. I mean, a few friends read what I wrote, but that was about the extent of sharing my work with others. I didn't even know where to find other writers. I was a stay-at-home mom with three little kids--not many writers spent their days at McDonald's or at park playgrounds.

Then one day, I received a community paper in the mail. It offered a variety of classes from yoga to learning Spanish to knitting sweaters. Right in the middle of this newsletter was a writing class--fiction writing with a followup class for critiquing our works in process. This would be a two hour class, once a week for six weeks. So I did a very brave thing and I signed up.

I learned a lot through this class. I learned various grammar rules (errors) I was making. I learned that some days the instructor was impressed with my work and other days he didn't like what I wrote at all. Some days I went home elated and other days I left completely crushed. But the biggest thing I learned was to share my work, to stand up in front of the class, and read my words to the other class members. My knees shook. My hands trembled. My voice cracked. But I did it. As cheesy as this class was, I found myself writing more than I had ever written before--we had weekly assignments along with working on my WIP to share with in the second hour. Slowly, I built my confidence, little by little. 

I also met other writers. Some were at a much higher level of writing than I was, and then there were those who just struggled to write anything at all. We also had an older lady who was there just to be a joker (that's all I could figure). She drove me crazy and demanded way too much attention. For a stay-at-home mom, I loved this class. I needed this class. It helped me to remember how much I loved writing. I loved it, and yet, I hadn't been writing very much at all up to that point (three little kids tend to take up a whole lot of time).

After the six weeks were over, several of us writers wrote down our emails to be able to continue getting together and helping one another. I was SO excited. I couldn't wait to be emailed (one girl wrote down the list and said she'd email everyone else). Well, I never received an email. Did the others get together without me? Did they not like my writing? Maybe they never met. All I know, was that once again I was alone and it sucked.

The following winter, I found out that in my state there was a league of writers who met monthly. There was a chapter in my local area and so once again I got brave and went to the January meeting. I didn't know anyone there and they all looked like they knew each other.The funny thing, this meeting was all about finding a critique group. Once again, I was super excited.

It was at this meeting I met D.S. Actually, we had been in the same fiction writing class the previous spring, but since D.S. was too chicken (just kidding) to take the critique class the second hour, I never really got to know her. Anyway, when this meeting was over, I approached her and another lady who were discussing forming a critique group and asked if I could join. There was a moment in which I wasn't going to do it. I was just going to leave and say nothing.

But I'm so glad I did. That move changed my writing life. D.S. and I have been writing buddies for over a year and a half now. The other lady in our group slowly pulled away because it wasn't working out for her (those things happen).

So how did I meet Kacey? D.S. has a knack for finding other writers, but this story is kind of fun. D.S.'s husband managed a Mexican restaurant where Kacey and her family would come to dine. D.S's husband is a hoot. He's personable and fun loving. He and Kacey started chatting and somehow one thing led to another and he found out Kacey was a writer. Well, his wife was a writer! What were the odds? Amazing. He then gave her D.S's information and she contacted D.S.

D.S then introduced her to me. WA-LA--a critique group.


I can't stress enough how much writers need other writers. We need them. We really do. I wouldn't be where I'm at without theses fantastic people in my life to push me forward. I need that push. I need someone cracking the whip and refusing to accept anything less than my best. These ladies do that.

But, it's hard to get a critique group going. Like me in the beginning, I had no idea where to even go looking. Some of us live in rural areas. Some of us just are a bit afraid to ask someone to start a group. Others think they can do it on their own.

I can tell you right now, you can't do it on your own. You can't. And GREAT critique partners can not be overlooked or undervalued. You need them.

So here's my suggestion, if you are in need a critique partner or need some extra eyes to go over your work, leave a comment to this post saying so. Now, we here at Ready, Aim, Hook Me are super busy. The submissions coming in are in great numbers and we are getting to them as quickly as we can. So we can't possibly add anyone to our critique group. But, depending on the number of comments left, I will put together a page with all the contact information and put people into groups. This could be fun. (If there aren't very many comments, then guess what? You're a group!)

So leave your name, your genre (which may or may not come into play--you can learn from everyone) and your contact info, probably your email. Just do it like this: suzy[at] gmail[dot]com (that way you can avoid spam). If you don't feel comfortable leaving your email, then simply leave a link so that people can get a hold of you.

How does that sound?  So leave your link and I'll contact you with your group info. I will also make a special page you can check at a later time as well (under the Pages tab). Hopefully, this works and you find it helpful.

24 comments:

L. on June 22, 2011 at 5:28 AM said...

I'm always in the market, so here goes...

Writer of hard SF (and lover of fantasy) for grown-ups seeks online critting, idea-bouncing and/or writing partner.

I'm confident in the science end of world-building, not so good with relationships. Will gladly trade advice on one for perspectives on the other!

Email blankenship.louise at gmail dot com.

Juliana L. Brandt on June 22, 2011 at 7:42 AM said...

What nice timing! I'm just putting together a critique group. There are three of us (mostly YA fantasy) and we're looking for another one or two people to join :)

Kathleen on June 22, 2011 at 8:16 AM said...

Hello=) I would love to be involved in a crit group!
I'm a YA fantasy writer and my email is
kathleen.doyle88(at)yahoo(dot)com

Gina Blechman on June 22, 2011 at 8:22 AM said...

Contemporary romance, ginablechman [at] gmail [dot] com.

I also write YA dystopian and romance and gritty Ya, so if that's your thing and you don't mind critiquing with someone who is working on contemporary romance at the moment, hit me up. :-)

<3 Gina Blechman

Misty Provencher on June 22, 2011 at 8:34 AM said...

Oh- me too!
I write YA fantasy and crossover.
I'm looking for both critting and idea bouncing.
Email me! misty_pro at msn dot com

Juliana L. Brandt on June 22, 2011 at 9:25 AM said...

Oops, forgot to post my e-mail. Shoot me an e-mail for anyone who's interested in joining our group!

julianalbrandt[at]gmail[dot]com

Jessica on June 22, 2011 at 10:12 AM said...

I'm looking for a group to bounce idea's around, critique flow and direction. I write MG to YA Fantasy and would love to help other writer's in their process. You can contact me at j(dot)lesaicherre(at)hotmail(dot)com

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I write contemporary/romantic suspense.

WordWeaver (at)kc (dot)rr (dot)com

Annikka Woods on June 22, 2011 at 11:30 AM said...

Annikka Woods here. I'm desperately in need of critique groups. I write adult grade fantasy and science fiction.

annikka[dot]woods1977[at]gmail[dot]com is my email address.

Anna Geletka on June 22, 2011 at 1:01 PM said...

Hi, I'm Anna Geletka, and I'd LOVE a critique partner or group!

I write fantasy and dark fantasy with occasional forays into literary fiction. I'm in Greenville, NC, but online-only would be just fine.

a[dot]w[dot]geletka[at]gmail[dot]com

Erin on June 22, 2011 at 1:27 PM said...

I'm going to jump in the pool as well. I write YA paranormal (though my current project has many sci fi/fantasy elements). I love romance and relationships.

erindanzer at gmail dot com
or check out my website: http://erindanzer.webs.com

BookGeek on June 22, 2011 at 1:40 PM said...

Ahhh! This is the post that will save me (I hope...)

I write contemporary lit with a little magical realism. I also write sci-fi aimed for the YA audience. I've done some adult SF, but (with no hope in sight) I stopped that project for a bit.

speduzzi496(at)gmail(dot)com

I really need a critique partner that will help me stay focused. Thanks so much for doing this!

PaulaTohline Calhoun on June 22, 2011 at 3:21 PM said...

I would love to hook up with a dedicated critic and/or editor! I've just begun my first draft of a memoir. A roughly edited Prologue to the book was posted yesterday on my blog, as a sort og "teaser."

Find it here: http://paulatohlinecalhoun1951.wordpress.com/2011/06/21/uh-oh-im-writing-a-book/#comments

and let me know what you think - anyone out there! (It's brief, won't take a lot of time.)

Ready, Aim, Hook Me on June 22, 2011 at 4:30 PM said...

Wow! What a great turn out. I think we have enough to form 3 or 4 groups. I will start working on that, and then I will post it under the Pages Tab on the left hand side.

Now keep in mind, D.S writes adult suspense, Kacey writes romance, and I write contemporary YA (but my current WIP has zombies--go figure). This works for us. You don't have to be in a group with all romance writers or all scifi writers to benefit from a critique group. In fact, I'd say mix it up a little.

Hopefully I will have this all put together by tomorrow. So come back and check it out.

Kate on June 22, 2011 at 7:52 PM said...

Hoping it's not too late to get in on this action. I write contemporary romance.

My email is kate.meader at gmail dot com

LizzieBeth on June 22, 2011 at 9:08 PM said...

Awesome. What a great idea. I hope I'm not too late to get in on this. My writing is a bit eclectic, but as of late I've been writing YA/Short stories, as well as some SF/F. My normal genre is Romance/Poetry, though.

My email is: LizzieBeth1095@sbcglobal.net

Amber on June 22, 2011 at 10:12 PM said...

Hi, I'd love to participate, but I write erotic romance so it'd only work if my group was okay with a high heat level. That does tend to clash with YA, for obvious reasons, but may be cool with the people doing contemp romance or romantic suspense. I'm comfortable reading anything, although I don't read much YA on my own. My email is hello@amberskye.net.

JJ Toner (euclid) on June 23, 2011 at 12:51 AM said...

I'm writing a YA dystopian (very slowly). I need this kind of help and I have a lot of critiquing experience. BUT I'm a man. This group is for women only, right?

Jessica A. Briones on June 23, 2011 at 6:41 AM said...

Am I too late for this? I was going to comment yesterday and forgot... I write contemperary Romance/Women's fiction.

My Email is
jessica_a_briones[at]hotmail[.]com

Jessica A. Briones on June 23, 2011 at 6:45 AM said...

I don't think my comment posted??? Am I too late for this?
I write Comtemporary Romance/Women's fiction

Ready, Aim, Hook Me on June 23, 2011 at 7:20 AM said...

The Critique Group page is up and running. Should I get more comments, I will create more groups, so don't feel as though you've missed your chance. We'll make it work.

Also, (this is for J.J.) men are welcome here any time. In fact, a man's perspective is invaluable. Group #1, use him. You are so lucky to have a man in your group. You will find that your own male characters will truly benefit from it :)

I hope everyone can make a great connection and find the feedback they're looking for. Good luck everyone.

If you put forth the effort, you will be rewarded a hundred fold.

Kit Courteney on June 23, 2011 at 9:35 AM said...

Oh, I wish I'd seen this earlier!

I've been thinking about doing this for a while now but wasn't sure how to go about it.

I'm a Brit, write psychological thrillers (sometimes quite dark) but enjoy reading all sorts.

There are lots of YA and romance writers in your groups so I understand if my thing isn't everybody's cup of tea, critique-wise, but I can only try :)

I'm at kitcourteney[at]hotmail[dot]co[dot]uk

Misha on June 23, 2011 at 10:25 AM said...

This is a great way to meet crit partners. It's how I met all of mine.

:-)

Leah Miller on July 22, 2011 at 2:40 PM said...

I am soooo looking for a critique partner/group! I'm a stay-at-home mom currently editing and revising the second draft of my YA Fantasy novel.

Please, please, please contact me at leahraemiller at gmail dot com! Did that sound a little desperate? Well, that's cuz I AM, lol!

Here's my blog: leahraemiller.blogspot.com

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