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Critique groups. Something you want to be part of? The key is finding the right people. Likeminded people reaffirm your sanity. Do you yell at your characters? Get up in the middle of the night to voice text a conversation to yourself that they started without you? Do you scribble plot ideas on gum wrappers?

Is Writing a Way of Life?

Does your imagination travel into dark corners where your regular friends are afraid to tread? Is your Google search history enough to alert homeland security? A tribe who gets you is huge. Everyone brings a different life experience to their edits.

7 Ways to WRITE a BOOK for Beginners - #7Ways

The more you edit, the more you learn how to be a tighter, stronger writer. There will be times when you hit a wall—in your plot, characters, and ideas. Talking out your problems with the group can help you find direction.


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What seems like a major block to you might be easily solved by a fresh perspective. Sticking out this writing thing requires discipline. One of the best ways to be disciplined is through accountability.

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Find others who have similar goals, agree to meet often, and hold each other to that promise. The most productive groups meet weekly. Critique group members who write together stay together—and become a writing family. Your writing family. The more you get to know each other, the more you can help each other.

One of the biggest cons to a critique group is that the members can start to sound alike. Each writer has a unique voice. Watch out for that. Go to conferences. Take online classes. Sit in on seminars. Bring back what you learn and share it with your group. Different people bring different styles, experiences, skill sets, and personalities to your meetings.

Think before you speak. Think before you redline. Think before you criticize. You came here for help—just like everyone else. So help. Not sure how to be a good critique partner? Say something positive first, then suggest ways to tighten and strengthen writing or conception issues, and end with something positive. People tend to shut down if the first thing they hear is a correction. Be on time. End on time. Elect a facilitator who will keep you on time and on task or set a timer to divide your minutes equally.

Some weeks, one person may need more help than other weeks. Be fair.

Be considerate. Here are a few more tips for building strong, encouraging critique groups. My long-time group at one point had seven. This is a personal choice. But limit the size of your group to the workload everyone can handle in the time allotted. If you have a larger group, divide into subgroups when you meet. But stick with the same people. Building trust and relationships is crucial to success. What do the members want to get out of the group?

How much work are they each willing to put in? Are they looking for someone to pat them on the back or really help them become stronger writers? Talk about expectations first. Make sure everyone is on the same page. Agree on a place and time that works for everyone. Meet somewhere neutral—a restaurant, coffee shop, church, or library—or take turns hosting the group. Option 1: Send your pages out on email or something like Google Docs.

Read and make notes prior to meeting. You can print out and write on the document directly or make notes using features like track changes and comment boxes and then print the document out or email it back to the person. This work-ahead method allows for a good, in-depth critique but takes a time commitment outside of the group.

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The Ultimate Guide To Writing Your First Book

Option 2: Print your pages and bring enough copies for everyone to the meeting. Let someone else read your work out loud. What the eye misses, the ear often picks up. This do-it-there method negates the time commitment outside the group but gives you a less thorough critique. This is my least favorite method. If this is the way you need to go, make sure to include praise. Send the cleanest, easiest-to-read version of your brilliance.

Remember, the key to a good group is finding the right people. An encourager at heart, author, editor, and writing coach Lori Freeland believes everyone has a story to tell. You can find her young adult and contemporary romance at lorifreeland. Her latest release, The Accidental Boyfriend , is currently free on the Radish app.

As the snow gathers outside, a strange thing begins to form inside the house — HEAT. Emmy made a big mistake. Why would she sleep with her dick of a boss Kyle Sterling? She was finally able to put everything behind her until they got trapped in a house together, with the snow building outside, and the heat building inside. Soon she begins to wonder if her regrets need rethinking, as her heart and her reasoning conflict.

She has until the snow melts to determine which is telling the truth, and whether listening to her heart or listening to her reason holds the less regretful fate. You must be logged in to post a comment.

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Those contracts are few and far between, if at all now. And the online division, Carina, offers no advance at all.


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  • The market has changed with the innovation of Kindles and the ability to self-publish. LoveSwept faded. Harlequin owned Silhouette, too. Print editions have less shelf space today across all genres because so many bookstores have closed their doors. I network with more than 50 indie authors every single day. Some publish wide, some are exclusive to Amazon.

    More often than not, successful authors selling across all venues built a readership on Amazon first. Yes, there are exceptions. But I do know a It is true Amazon is customer centric.


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    Has been since inception. Works for me. But it is always Author Choice. While I do not question your satisfaction with Amazon—if it works for you, great! That latter figure might be received on a long, multi-book contract, with each book receiving a portion of it. But its subscription model that produced those numbers was for many years, and still is, in print, so I am not sure that applies to the topic of this blog post, which is about ebook subscriptions. Also, a Harlequin subscription to those print books was not open-ended, as in pick any books you want from among millions.

    Harlequin picks, and sends them to you. Perhaps some apples got into the mix of oranges in this discussion, or perhaps I misunderstood something.

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