Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Looking for YA Critique Partner

I’m looking for someone to swap manuscripts with to provide feedback/critiques.
Specifically, someone who:
  • Is interested in reading contemporary realistic YA.
  • Has a finished or near-finished manuscript they want read (doesn’t have to be polished – for example, I have a complete story arc but parts are rough).
  • Is willing to swap one to two chapters every week or two with feedback.
  • Is a serious writer, writing for eventual publication.

I'm looking for someone to challenge me. And I hope to find a long-term relationship.
    I'm not looking for a cheerleader. What I mean is: I don't need someone who will tell me they like my writing without telling me what needs work. I want someone who will give useful, honest feedback and I promise to do the same.

    A little about me: I am a member of SCBWI and Verla Kay's Blueboard. I am a children's librarian, and an avid YA reader (contemporary and dystopian are my favorites).

    If you are interested, we could swap a chapter or two to see if the match will work. Email me at michellejulian.writer at yahoo dot com

    Wednesday, April 4, 2012

    The End is only the Beginning

    I finished! I'm done! Yay me!

    Except I changed directions and plots so many times that now I'm back to the beginning basically rewriting the story from page one. I've heard other writers do this - that their first draft (a 70,000 word manuscript in my case) is more like an elaborate outline.

    I feel good about this. The first line, paragraph, page, chapter is new and constructed post ending. In other words: I have a completed story arc. I know how the story ends, thus I'm able to write a stronger opening. I know my characters inside and out, their motivations, backstory, and goals.

    This method may seem backwards, but it's actually turning out to be productive. I've already rewrote 9,000 words and going strong. As I get deeper into the manuscript, I hope to use some of the original text, but for now I'm happy writing from scratch. The story is infinitely better now and for that I'd rewrite ten times.