Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Personal Critique Day


I've got the coffee pot on. The kitchen table is cleared. I'm waiting for my criqitue partner Ashlyn Chase to arrive. (While we're waiting you might want to click over to her newly designed website! She's the one in the elf ears. I think the pic must have been taken at last year's Fairy Ball at the Romantic Times Convention.) She writes light-hearted, sexy paranormals for Source Books.

Red Pencil Thursday has been fun here on the blog, but these days with Ashlyn are for me. We brainstorm. We hack away. We generally have fun, even when it means we have to completely redo a scene. Even though I write historicals, we're a good fit. We see different things in each other's work. And if Ash doesn't understand something in mine that I think all historical readers will automatically get, it's a red flag for me to make sure my prose is clear. If I have a "wait-a-minute" moment with her stuff, she knows she needs to give the non-paranormal reader a little more background.

I share this for those of you who are looking for a critique partner. You don't have to stick solely within your narrow sub-genre. Just look for someone who honestly wants to improve their writing--and yours!

9 comments:

Amber Skyze said...

Have fun. Ash is a wonderful person and I'll be a great critique partner.

SarannaDeWylde said...

That sounds like fun. A girls afternoon of reading, slashing and frosting.

I've really enjoyed your crit days on the blog, Emily. I've learned a lot and it's so cool of you to share your thoughts and experiences with us.

I think no matter how long you've been doing something, you should always be learning or trying to look at things from another POV and you're an awesome resource.

And, I've been waiting not-so patiently for the next installment of your online novel... *eyes you*

EmilyBryan said...

Amber--Yes, she is! I'm very lucky to have Ash as my critique partner and friend.

EmilyBryan said...

Oh, Saranna! It's up! The 4th chapter of A DUKE FOR ALL SEASONS is up on the website! My bad. I need to send a newsletter too. So much to do, so little time!

I'm glad you've enjoyed the Red Pencil Thursdays. I've been learning quite a bit from them as well.

SarannaDeWylde said...

YAY! *scurries off to read*

A hook at the beginning of the chapter and at the end. You're brilliant.

I feel like Sebastian. *sigh* All wound up and wanting more. I'm trying very hard not to make a pouty face and stomp my foot because I've been denied the rest of this treat until the next posting. *grin*

Viking Princess said...

Emily Bryan, I just started reading Maidensong...loving it! I'm already looking for Erinsong because I know I'm gonna wanna read it. Did you write those books? I can't wait to read them all. Thanks so much.

EmilyBryan said...

Hello Viking Princess! Yes, I wrote MAIDENSONG, ERINSONG and SILK DREAMS under the name Diana Groe (my serious alter-ego). All feature Northmen and are set in the 9th and 11th centuries.

I love these stories and I'm delighted you've found them!

librarypat said...

It takes a lot to be confident enough to let someone critique your work. Getting the mindset that it is critiquing not criticizing can't be easy. Once you find the right person, I'm sure it can be fun. You are so lucky you have found such a good match. You have a good point about being from different genres giving you a better perspectives for clarity.

EmilyBryan said...

Pat--You've so right! I remember the first time I read my work aloud for the critique group in Seattle. My heart was pounding.

Of course, I was also sort of auditioning for membership in the group too. A group dynamic is a delicate thing and a new person can enhance or totally throw off the balance. Fortunately, they decided I had something to bring to the table. I learned so much about writing from those ladies.