My critique partners are really the wizards behind the curtain when it comes to my writing. I may be getting compliments on how great my latest YA novel is , but it would still be a floundering suggestion of a good idea without the combined effort of these wonderful ladies. They have helped me shape this manuscript by having me question some of my word choices, my character motivations, even my whole story arc until I was sure that I had it watertight. And then I started over and let them go at it again. They all push me to do better because they know I can my story to where I want it. They are all just as invested in its success as I am. And I feel the same about their stories.
I know not everyone’s search for a critique group has been a positive experience and I stumbled into this amazing mix of talented women quite by chance, still, I would encourage every writer out there to join a critique group. It may take you a few times to find the right chemistry, but once you do, once you all click together, it’s just magic. I can’t tell you how many times these women, I now count as some of my closest friends, have had to talk me down off the wall when I was at my worst – thinking that I’d never figure out how to fix a plot problem, that my writing was no good, that I should just give up, etc.
And So…to Barbara, Helen, Marilyn, Sharon, and Stephanie I say I love you and thank you all so much for everything!
1. Finish revision suggestions for interested agent and send off my FULL manuscript as soon as humanly possible. I tackled the hardest part of this revision – FINALLY! I’ve been struggling with writing a new opening for over a month, now. It was my fabulous critique partners who helped me push through this deadlock. I discussed my frustration with them at our monthly gathering this past week and they were very encouraging as always and something one of them said jarred the right wire loose and helped me get things stirred up in the right way. I kicked out the new opening scene the next morning. SO much weight lifted off my mind.
Finish up novel revisions on my Middle Grade manuscript for November workshop and mail off copies to my group. DONE.
3. Read through manuscripts received from my group for the novel revision workshop. I put some of my fancy schmancy office supplies to work this week and started line-editing the first manuscript. Really enjoying it. I always learn so much when I edit others.
4. Continue first draft of new YA WIP. No action on this project this week.
5. Exercise at least four times a week. I did play soccer with my kids a few times and my daughter had me doing this ridiculous dance with her one day, so you could say I was more active this week, but still not as much as I need to be. Keep cracking the whip, I’ll get there!
Hope you are doing well with your goals.