I already have a few who I really like, but would like to try it out with one or two more people. I’ve included a short questionnaire of sort so you know what I’m expecting and what I can offer, so you can decide if you want to give it a go or not.
What do you write?
Paranormal, SF and fantasy romance, ST length. My writing tends to have explicit sex and violence (but not erotic). If you don’t enjoy para / SFF romance, please do not respond. I’m looking specifically for people who read and/or write them.
What do you read?
I read just about everything, except inspirational, category (I used to read SD and HP a lot, but I don’t read them that much anymore since I no longer write them and I have so many other books (ST) that I want to read), western / ranch / cowboys and American historical romance. When I say American historical romance, I mean historical romance set in the States / North America. I like European historical romance though.
I read erotic, but I’m very very particular about it, so I may not be a good fit.
How long have you been writing?
What have you accomplished writing-wise?
I sold a contemporary romance novel to Samhain this year, and also signed with an agent recently.
What are you writing strengths?
What are you trying to improve on?
Angsty alpha heroes. I really want to do them better. This is my big craft goal for the rest of the year. (I have a quarterly and/or semiannual craft goal, where I pick an area and try to improve.)
My next goal is to write better bad boys.
How much material do you read at once?
From a scene to a partial or something even longer. It depends.
How do you crit?
My critique style has changed. These days, I read as a reader first. I ask myself, “Am I engaged? Do I like it? Do I like / can empathize with the protagonist? Do I want to read more?”
If the answers range from “It’s okay” to “meh” to “I don’t get it at all”, then I sit down and think about what made me feel that way. Was I ever confused? Was the pacing off? Was it the way things were worded? Did the h/H do something that annoyed me and/or make me go “Ugh. No way.”?
Then I write out a summary and comment on the actual text using Track Change & Comment Bubbles using MS Word.
BTW — I do not do fact-checking. So do not rely on me to tell you whether or not you have your facts right. I usually assume that you did your research already. (But if there are inconsistencies, I’ll mention them.)
Is that how you want your crit partners to crit you?
Yep. I don’t need crit partners to tell me where to put a comma or something. If there’s a glaring typo that’s bugging you, sure, mention it. But I’d rather fix the forest than all the little trees, unless too many of my little trees are deformed.
How fast can you crit?
Hmm. If it’s a scene or a chapter, about a week or faster. If it’s more, expect me to take a full week or a bit longer. But it really depends on how busy I am at that time. I have to work, write and do edits and other activities that I’m contractually obligated to do, etc. If I’m very busy, I send an email to let them know. I believe in communication. I don’t want my crit partners to feel slighted or ignored. (Unless I *am* really trying to ignore you. Just kidding! 😉 )
And seriously I expect the same from my CP — not in terms of turn-around time, but in terms of communication. If you’re busy and it’ll be a couple of weeks or whatever before you can take a look at the chapter, just let me know, and I can either wait or ask you to not crit it if I need the feedback soon and it’ll be too late by then. That way we don’t waste our time. BTW — when I say, “Don’t bother, it’s okay” I’m not mad. I appreciate the time the CP has taken to let me know.
- I’d like a crit partner who’s completed at least two or three manuscripts and have gone through the process of revision, if not agent hunting.
- I’d also like a crit partner who sees this as a creative process as well as business.
- I don’t always send a chapter every week or whatever. I don’t use crit partners as my accountability partners or motivational coaches. I show things when I think they’re ready. But even if that’s the case if you want to send me your chapters, etc. every week, that’s okay. When I don’t have anything to show, I usually keep in touch with crit partners via email or IM so we don’t become strangers.
- I’d love to have someone who I can celebrate my good news with. Obviously I’ll be thrilled to pieces if you’ve accomplished a big milestone or something.
- I think that crit partners will be sympathetic to rejections, etc. That’s obvious. I’ll of course be sympathetic and give you a shoulder to cry on. But — this is a big but — do not expect sympathy from me if you whine about unreasonable things. For example, you got a request for full but feel angry because the agent / editor wants it snail-mailed. (It’s a real story — a writer I knew got mad about that and wanted me to feel bad for her. She lived in North America, so it wasn’t like she had to trek through miles of some horrible mosquito-infested jungle to get to the over-priced and unreliable post office. I live in Asia, and I snail-mailed stuff to the States when I was agent-hunting. So I didn’t feel any sympathy for that writer. I mean…she got the request for full. What more could she possibly want? *shrug*)
- Please do not ask me to be your crit partner because you are never motivated to write and you need a motivational coach of sort. If you aren’t motivated at all to write, you need to ask yourself “why not?” Maybe you don’t feel like writing anymore or something. There’s no shame in quitting if you don’t find writing enjoyable at all, esp. if it doesn’t impact your ability to feed yourself and your family. There’s no way I can make you write if you don’t want to write. I’m not your mom or your husband or whatever.
- Please do not ask me to be your crit partner so you can have me fix your grammar. Several years ago, a new potential CP told me, “I don’t need to know how to punctuate (or insert any other grammatical issues) because that’s what crit partners are for.” Needless to say, our CP relationship ended very fast. If you need that much help with grammar, you need to take a class, not seek a crit partner.
If you’re interested and/or want to talk, email me or leave a comment.