If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book next year, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com

WWK welcomes Welcome Wednesday author interview guests--Edith Maxwell (writing as Maddie Day) 11/4, Elizabeth Duncan 11/11, and J. A. Hennrickus (writing as Julianne Holmes) 11/25, to our blog. Polly Iyer is filling in for us on 11/18 due to a delayed publication. Thanks, Polly! Our guest bloggers this month are--Sam Bohrman (11/7) and Pat Gulley (11/14) in addition to our steadfast Saturday bloggers, Sam Morton (11/21), and Kait Carson (11/28).

Kait's blog will be our last in 2015. Warren Bull will introduce the holiday season on 11/29. Gloria Alden, KM Rockwood, Shari Randall, E. B. Davis, and Paula Gail Benson will present holiday shorts among the holidays. Please look at our 2015 Guest Calendar for December dates. We will resume blogging on 1/3/16.

Maria Barbo at HarperCollins's Katherine Tegen Books has bought a debut YA fantasy by Sarah Henning, tentatively titled Heartless and pitched as the never-before-told origin story of the sea witch from Hans Christian Andersen's "The Little Mermaid" told in the vein of Wicked – from the villainess's point of view. Publication is set for fall 2017; Rachel Ekstrom at the Irene Goodman Literary Agency did the deal for world rights. Congratulations, Sarah! --Publishers Weekly 11/9/15

Gloria Alden released the sixth book in her Catherine Jewell mystery series. Carnations for Cornelia is available at Amazon. Congratulations, Gloria.

Congratulations to WWK's Carla Damron. Carla's book, The Stone Necklace, will be released on February 2, 2016. Pat Conroy served as Carla's editor on this project. For further information, look on Facebook or Amazon.

Warren Bull's "When Stinking Aliens Take Over Your Planet" appears in the new Whortleberry Press anthology, Strange Mysteries 6. "The Interview" was chosen to appear in the Flash Bang Mysteries anthology. The anthologies are available on Amazon in paper or Kindle formats.

"A Matter of Honor" by Robert Dugoni and Paula Gail Benson will be published in the first Killer Nashville anthology, KILLER NASHVILLE NOIR: COLD BLOODED, released on October 27, 2015.


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Critique Groups

The Guppies are a constant source of help and support. I’ve made use of online critique groups and the opportunity to swap manuscripts. However and possibly because I wasn’t born into the digital age with a cell phone attached to my head like a third ear, I learn more from in-person critique groups. There’s no substitute for facial expressions, tone of voice, and body language. They make it so much easier to judge the most relevant criticism for my work and the general interest level in what I’ve written.

Here I’ll put in a plug for Seascape Writers Retreat that I attended this past weekend. I learned more in three days than I’d learn in a year of online feedback. It’s not the messenger but the medium. Some writers brought first drafts and they felt the feedback they received helped them deepen their characters and plot. Other first drafters changed their protagonists and villains. I think it makes sense to have feedback from the start unless you don’t mind stumbling in the dark for years or you produce almost perfect drafts the first time. Even writers who presented stories they’d been working on for months or years felt they learned from all the feedback they received.

I recognize that’s my opinion. Have you had a critique group that’s made all the difference to your writing?butterf5


E. B. Davis said...

I've had the exact opposite experience Pauline. My in-person writers group bombed. The problem was that the only group I found were male sci fi writers, which shouldn't have made a difference, but I could tell that no one really was reading my stuff. My online group (Guppies) are so more helpful, into my genre (even if mine is mixed), and positive. I feel the same way about my online short story group as well-so much better. Perhaps the in-person group and I just weren't well suited. I'm so gald you have good support where you live.

Pauline Alldred said...

Sci Fi is so different from mystery, Elaine. I guess we just have to search until we find the group where we click.

HSS said...

All my Guppies critique groups have been excellent. My first and last in person critique was horrible. But it drove me to find writing classes. In those classes I found the type of feed back you're talking about. I'd have to say that it's not whether it's in person or not, but how well it's done.

Leslie said...

Used to be part of a great group, but I moved away. Haven't been able to duplicate it and have had bad experiences with other groups since.

Pauline Alldred said...

Hi HSS and Leslie, it seems a writer has to search for the most helpful group and then it's so hard to leave that group. An unhelpful group,I think, is less than nothing.

Katherine said...

I agree with you. I prefer in-person critiquing. It could be because I had such a great first experience and haven't been able to duplicate it since. My former critique partner and I would meet one evening each week at our local Barnes & Noble for a couple of hours. Unfortunately, she sent a query letter to an agent, received a "good story, but not what I'm looking for right now" rejection letter. With that one letter, she stopped writing completely, saying she couldn't handle the rejections sure to come in the future. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't convince her it was just one person's opinion. Not long after that, she moved and we lost touch.

Pauline Alldred said...

That is too bad, Katherine. Rejection is hard to take but maybe writers have to recover from the first one and grow a thicker skin.

Warren Bull said...

I've had a variety of experiences. The best group I ever attended was by invitation only. I had to submit a sample and be voted in. It was a no-holds-barred critique group: not for the faint of heart. But everyone in it wrote seriously and critiqued seriously. Other face to face groups have been helpful to some degree. I think if requires a match of skill levels and personalities which is hard to find. I also like and benefit from Guppies on-line groups.