beta readers

First Readers, Revising, & Publication

CONGRATULATIONS to everyone who not only won NaNoWriMo but who made ANY progress this month. I finished with 32,000 new words, and I’m really proud of that progress! New words are always better than no words at all. 😉

To wrap up NaNoWriMo and to help all of you forge onward with your new manuscripts, I wanted to share all the posts I’ve ever written about revising a novel, finding a literary agent, and getting traditionally published.



Revising Your Novel


First Readers



How to Get Published


Finding Literary Agents

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The Great Critique Partner Match-up!

CPMatchUpSo I know that a lot of you out there are searching for The One–that person who makes your heart sing. Whose emails make your stomach flip. Who just gets you.

I don’t mean The Romantic One (duh!). I mean The Critique Partner One!

For me, critique partners and beta readers are invaluable. Basically, I am the writer that I am today ONLY because of my CPs. Getting their feedback and giving them my own feedback has taught me more about writing than ANYTHING else. Period.

To help YOU meet your own magical someone, I thought I’d revive the CP Match-up Forum. You guys can share your info, read about other potential CPs’ projects, and then go from there.

Here’s what you can share (keep in mind that you’ll need a forum account to leave a message):

Name: This should be straightforward enough. 😉 Feel free to  use an online handle if you’d rather not share your name.

Genre you like to write/read in: Also, pretty straightforward. If you need help pinpointing a genre, feel free to ask me!

Project and a short blurb: Give us a 1-2 paragraph summary–or even 1-2 sentences is okay.

What you are looking for in a CP/Buddy: Do you want someone to give you surface, big picture feedback? Do you want someone to get down to the nitty-gritty line level? Are you looking for an alpha reader who will read chapters as you write them? Or do you want a beta reader who reads an entire manuscript once it’s all revised? Get specific about what sort of partnership you’re seeking and how LONG a relationship (i.e. you only need feedback for one novel or you’d like this partnership to continue onto future projects).

Contact information: Give us your email/twitter handle/whatever–just make sure you’re reachable!

 If a project sounds interesting to you, then contact the writer! I suggest exchanging a 5-10 pages to start–just to make sure you both like the other person’s writing AND like/appreciate the person’s style of critiquing.

**ADDED: One reader suggested posting your pages in a google doc or blog post and simply linking to those pages in the forum. That way you can go ahead and skim each other’s pages for The One. I think this is a great idea!

Keep in mind, that it might take a few tries, so feel free to reach out to more than one person. 🙂 If you’re only sharing a few chapters, you can pretty quickly get a vibe for what you do/don’t connect with.

If the style of critique (or manuscript) doesn’t feel right for you, then simply say something along the lines of:

I really appreciate your feedback, but I’m not totally sure our visions for storytelling align. I think you’ve made some great points about X and Y, but I’m not totally sure I see myself going in that direction with this story. Rather than waste your time, I will probably try to find a different reader. Thank you SO much!

To wrap up this post, here are links to all the posts I’ve done on critique partners and first readers in the past:

Now off you go!! Shoo, shoo! Get ye to the forum and start meeting fellow writers!!

Oh, and feel free to tweet about this so we can spread the word and draw in more potential CPs!

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Finding a Critique Group, Critique Partner, or Beta Reader

There are hundreds — probably even thousands — of places for you to find a crit partner… And that’s just online. You could physically find a reader (haha, physical — who actually moves in the real world anymore?) at the bookstore, your local book club, your regional RWA chapter, a community college course, a pre-established writer’s group in your area, etc. (Read more…)

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Critique Groups and Critique Partners

The purpose of a critique group or critique partner is to offer advice and insight into a writer’s WIP.  They also provide encouragement and fun!  Most writers love to talk about writing, love to talk about their work, and love to hone their craft.  Crit groups and partners offer writers the opportunity to do exactly that.

The difference between a beta reader and a crit group/partner is in the reciprocations and qualifications. Like I said in The Importance of Beta Readers, a beta reader is simply a person who reads a writer’s WIP with an eye for problems. A critique group (or critique partner) consists of people who read the writer’s WIP with an eye for problems, and in exchange the writer critiques everyone else’s WIPs.

So how do beta readers and crit groups give a good critique? Where does one even begin? (Read more…)

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The Importance of Beta Readers

She’s aliiiive! After a month plus away from the blog and website, I have returned. I apologize for the absence, but, well, revisions trump website and vacation trumps revisions, so… I’m back now — browner (thanks to Florida sun) and on draft 3 (thanks to hard work). Now on to the blog!

Over the last month or so, Patricia C. Wrede (one of my favorite writers from childhood) has written a blog series entitled, “The Care and Feeding of First Readers” . It’s a great series from an author who has graced the publishing industry for years, and the posts reminded me of an important point — something that even the most-practiced writers know.

Writers always need feedback and will always have room for improvement.

Everywhere I look these days, writers are thanking their crit-groups, thanking their beta readers, and singing praise for those little helpers that make a manuscript become a book.

So, what is a beta reader? (Read more…)

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