Thursday, June 21, 2007

Stop Your Wabhing and Find a Friend!

Maven Lacey KayeSince we've been talking about firsts and The Evolution Of this week, I'll tell you how *I remember* our little group starting. The caveat is, of course, that this information is only as good as my memory, and to be perfectly honest my memory isn't all that great. Which is why I'm the List Maven a.ka. She Who Writes Everything Down.

Waaaay back at the dawn of 2006 I found the Avon Discussion Board. It was right at the time I decided I needed some information about this whole publishing thing and I think I found the site because I was looking up page counts. We all know the question--Good Lord, how do I know when I'm DONE??

Yeah, yeah, the 25 lines/page + Courier 12 (it was 2006, after all, and before the MS Word count thing became more mainstream). But let me tell you something about the internet you may have figured out already. It's HELLA addicting. It looks so innocent at first. "Oh, I'll just get this one piece of information I need here..." 3 million clicks later you're knee-deep in your Favorites list and the blog roll keeps right on rolling.

So back to the story. I was talking (typing) about how awesome this internet do-hicky thing is and then some girl actually replied to me. Like Darcy found out yesterday, this is how it starts. She talked to me? She talked to me? She talked to me! I'm one of the cool kids now!

She said Yes! The internet IS awesome! and it turned out we'd become discussion board members within a few days of each other. Through the discussion board, she and I both joined a yahoo group called Aspiring Romance Writers. We started emailing about a thousand times a day, checking out writer websites, and gossiping about cute actors. And we also did some critting in there somewhere.

The particular loop we joined does something called Excerpt Friday. There's a few good things to be said about EF, though it can't replace having your own band of slaves--I mean crit partners--to serve you. But it's a great place to meet people, and I'll get to that in a minute.

So the first one to go down was Ms. Darcy. She posted a scene that has since been removed from her manuscript (wah! all that effort!) but that I thought was pretty darn good. (If you're new to me you'll quickly learn that I'm extremely fond of my own opinion.) It was so good, I thought she could take some brutal honesty al la Erum-style. I marked that puppy up until it crapped blood and then I posted it for the other 164 members to see.

Nice.

But she actually wrote me a civil email back! If I hadn't had my hard drive reformatted I'd tell you exactly what she said. Instead, you'll have to rely on my memory. She said something like, "I know you probably feel like a horrible person for being so mean to me, but the truth is I screamed with laughter and told my husband it was ABOUT TIME someone told me what the heck I'm doing wrong. Will you crit with me?"

Like I said, it's approximately what she said.

So I distinctly remember breathing a huge sigh of relief and immediately following that up with a polite but firm No. I was waaaay too busy with the first girl to think of taking on someone else. (I laugh now when I realize I blog four times a week AND crit for 6 people. Time is definitely what you make of it.)

Despite my firm rejection, Darcy is a crafty little witch and she figured out how to get my attention. Or maybe she was just mad at me. Either way, she scooped up my excerpt and ran it through the ringer. I was verra impressed and proceeded to reconsider. That woman has a really good eye.

So the first girl and I must've invited Darcy into our private email loop. 80 zilllion emails commenced. It couldn't have been that much later when Jacqueline joined the ARW loop. (I *know* this figure's right because in the end, the first girl had to stop screwing around with us after just 2 months--1 month with me and then 1 month with me and Darcy.) Anyway, by that time I thought critting was a blast and everyone deserved the tip of my red pen. So I whipped it out and went at it.

Jacqueline was heading off for a family vacation, but she asked if someone would take a look at her first 6 chapters while she was gone--or maybe she asked me specifically; I can't remember and you don't care. The point is, I got lucky that the 6 chapters were really more like 6 scenes, because I probably spent 2 or 3 hours on each of them. Ok, not that long. Maybe that long. It's not like I timed it.

Long story short, I had to tell Jacq I didn't have the right to invite her into our threesome. But eventually she raped my story like Darcy did and I had to admit she might be really good on the team, and worth my exerting a little pushiness. (Yes, there was a time when I was timid...)

Jacqueline, as I recall, immediately started pitching Janice to the group. But 5 people is 5 manuscripts! That's a lot of work! Yet when the first girl came back after a short hiatus and Jacq realized she had a contemporary manuscript but the rest of us had historicals, the effort to add a fifth doubled. Maybe it tripled. Anyway, the way I remember it, Janice had to decline the offer to join our group (tentatively titled We Are Brutally Honest, as Erica said Monday. There was a reason for this weird title, btw. Brutally Honest was already a yahoo group. Left to start anew and ever the improver, I pointed out that by beginning the name with a W, Outlook and Gmail and other email services wouldn't have that many options to drop down. Not like Maven, which pulls Mary, Maire, Matt, Mizu, Mercer, Mark, Mom...) .

ANYWAY. Janice declined (for now). We started thinking up other people we could invite instead. Most of us had crits on the side, like me and my Purple Pen Posse. Jacq had 9 cps at one time! But none of them felt like a good fit for this particular group. For one--with One being the major one; so major, in fact, there isn't a Two--we are time consuming. Before I went Gmail I routinely downloaded over a hundred emails a day into my Outlook.

But there was one name we could all agree on. Erica Ridley was a regular on Excerpt Friday. She had some HI-larious manuscripts. Double-bonus, she wrote both contemporary AND historical fiction. Rock on! I dispatched an invitation to WABH which she, obviously, accepted.

Unfortunately, we didn't immediately click as one group. The first girl, the original Maven, finally had to admit she didn't have time for our shenanigans. Boo. If you're reading this, we miss you! Second, we didn't invite Erica into our mass-flurry of emailing. We stuck her on the WABH yahoo loop. Anyone who's ever used yahoo groups knows it's impossible to have a flurry of anything on it. The emails come when yahoo is good and ready to send them to you.

So we did miss out on a few months of hoppin' good times. But right around the age of FanLit we corrected this problem (Erica played, too, so we HAD to huddle around with her while we obsessively checked our scores) and it turns out, Erica can waste time with the best of 'em. What am I saying? She's a Master Procrastinator.

And she can make one killer website.

YOUR TURN: So how did you meet your gang? Your blog pals? Your crit group? There's so many great people out there, it's really hard to stay focused and say No (at least, this has been my experience). Do you say no? Or do you find yourself constantly swamped by manuscripts and critiques? Are you a Jacqueline, with 9 other cps, or do you go it alone a la Janice? Tell!

40 comments:

ERiCA said...

We didn't invite Erica into our mass-flurry of emailing. We stuck her on the WABH yahoo loop. Anyone who's ever used yahoo groups knows it's impossible to have a flurry of anything on it.

I may have been last to the party, but I was the first to run amok with a lampshade on my head! (Oh. Wait... That was a different party.)

Like Jacq, I sampled various other online critique groups before I found the soon-to-be mavens, but once we clicked (not cliqued!) I discontinued the other online groups completely. (Is Jacq still an active part of other crit groups? I just realized I have no idea!)

I now have the Mavens for me email-crit-IM fix, my real-life CPs Kel and 'manda, and an extremely supportive local RWA chapter (TARA) with members who are only an email/phone call away. (I can't even tell you how many of them have critiqued anywhere between the first 2 pages to the partial of one or more of my stories over the past year or two!)

I love this community!

ERiCA said...

Er, that should be "for my email-crit-IM fix".

Now, back to me lucky charms...

Heather said...

Oh, man. All this talk of raping manuscripts, marking them up until they crap blood, running them through the ringer ... I'm green with envy over here! Drooling, in fact! I just short-circuited my freaking keyboard with all this jealous drool!

Right now I crit with one person, but she's got a lot on her plate right now, life-wise. It's basically me just flinging scene after scene at her, burying her in attachments and emails. And every once in awhile she comes up for air and gasps, "It looks good." Which feels nice, but I want some raping! I want my scenes to crap blood and get to know the bad-ass side of a ringer!

You ladies are lucky (and hard-working), for sure, and it's so obvious how much you like and respect each other. And that makes this blog (and your personal blogs, some of which I'm just discovering now!) so much fun to read.

Celeste said...

Excellently hilarious story :) I've picked up my CP's like little lost souls on the highway. (They would probably both say the same for me, though, as I was a little lost, too.) I write chick lit, YA, and urban fantasy, not necessarily in that order, and often combined, so finding someone who appreciates my crap is pretty tricky at an RWA meeting. I get a lot of strange looks from my fellow romance writers, but they let me come and be on the board, so I can't complain. (They also give me free truffles.)

I have been working with one CP for about a year and a half now, and she loves to rip on me, and I love to sulk, and then return to her and say, "Okay, I admit that passage kind of sucked. And you've never ruined a scene before, so I'll do what you said." And she loves to say back with sugar in her voice, "Don't you owe me some chapters?"

Then recently our RWA chapter got a new member, and she was lost and alone, and no one would critique with her even though she's really cute and had begged nicely. We decided to room together at the NEC conference this spring, and I read a bit of her WIP (saying I couldn't speak for Rose, but maybe I was looking for another CP because I was). And holeee crap, she was awesome! It was a paranormal romance, and she has plenty of really original ideas. She also knew how to punctuate, which is important to people like me who use run-on sentences alot. (Kudos Lacey, btw, you are also a master punctuator of long sentences.)

So I dragged her to lunch with Rose, and Rose loved her on the spot, and they switched material. Voila, that's how our little group as born.

Maggie Robinson said...

My guys (well, dolls, really) hooked up from the Eloisa James BB and powered by FanLit and NaNo, formed a crit group and asked me to join it. I am known for being ignorant of the GMC but ready with the red pencil...you can't keep an old English teacher down, even if I've read the word WIERD so many times it looks right to me now.

Anonymous said...

You ladies are lucky (and hard-working), for sure, and it's so obvious how much you like and respect each other. And that makes this blog (and your personal blogs, some of which I'm just discovering now!) so much fun to read.

Agreed!

I'm off to the daytime gig again.

~Isabel~

B.E. Sanderson said...

I only have one crit partner, and although we met on Absolute Write, we really clicked after I left there and started my own blog. I posted a need for a CP, and she answered. It's been a wonderful relationship ever since. As for finding my blog pals, I can't remember where I came across most of them. I found this place through Erica, but I can't remember how I found Erica. (Diana Peterfreund, maybe?) AuthorsBlogs.com is a great place to find other authors, but then you have to do your homework to find the ones that really fit with your style.

Jacqueline Barbour said...

(Is Jacq still an active part of other crit groups? I just realized I have no idea!)

I actually haven't been critting activity for anyone but you guys in a while. Many of the CPs I had back before Darcy and Erum deigned to accept me into the fold have either stopped writing or have found other CPs who are faster than me. (As Lacey pointed out, the Mavens are a time-consuming bunch!)

I'd say the only actively writing CP I have on the "side" any more is Leigh, and she hasn't sent me anything to crit in a long while. (Hmmm, should I be feeling put out?) But I haven't sent her anything in a long time, either, because I keep waiting until I finish all the revisions to ASL so she (and Janice) can give it a (semi)virgin read.

And Lacey, that's pretty much how I remember the history of the Mavens, so your memory isn't as bad as you think!

Bill Clark said...

Yeesh! You guys (er, ladies) are into this thing big-time! It's practically a full-time job just to keep up with it all from the sidelines!

BTW, old "Eagle-Eye" (Bill's Rose & Grave monniker courtesy of Diana) wants y'all to know that in the olden days washerwomen had to be careful not to get their frontal appendages caught in the wringer as they were plying their trade. These days, it seems, the modern writerwoman prefers to put her or others' mss through the wringer. But the good old wringer remains the same, inexorably wringing and squeezing the excess waterweight out of whatever clothes, appendages, or mss are fed into it. Much more useful than putting your pages into the dryer!

OK, back to the first person - I didn't want to be the one who came out and said all that. Like Erica, I find the third person a useful ploy...especially if I've been sporting a lampshade on my head. Do you have pics, Erica? ;-)

lacey kaye said...

Erica -- now have the Mavens for me email-crit-IM fix I just figured you were trying Pirate for a change

Heather -- It's basically me just flinging scene after scene at her, burying her in attachments and emails. We do this, too! In fact, Jacqueline owes me at least one scene somewhere... My advice for you (not that you asked) is to join one of the crit loops (there's like a thousand million) and crit the way YOU want to be critted. The four of us (and the first girl, back in the day) were routinely chastised for our brutal honesty. Some people really do want to hear their ms is FABULOUS, DAHLING! and have no interest in ways they could improve. And that's fine, too. But if it's not what you want then you really need to find someone who will do you one better. Because it's very hard to learn from people who know less than you -- as I said on my blog yesterday, having your ms trashed is the first best way to learn what to look for, and very few people can do EVERYTHING well. Erica and Darcy, for example, are really good at future logic errors. WHY would he do that when it will clearly hurt him down the line? sort of thing. Jacqueline rocks on emotion and past logic errors (but back here you said he did this...) -- this is the WORST kind because you realize you've written yourself into a corner!). I like pacing myself. Janice sees big picture things.

OK, that was long. Whoever said I was a master punctuator of long sentences--thanks! Oh, I see that was Celeste. Welcome, btw! So Celeste, I laughed at your having to admit it sucked thing. Also the part where you said "Well, she hasn't ruined a scene for me yet." I think these are two HUGE steps to becoming a better writer. 1) admitting you aren't perfect on the first try 2) being willing to try OTHER people's version(s) of your story. #2 is the kicker.

Maggie, English is SO important! My home blog tomorrow will be about how I can't crit a ms until I get all the grammatical errors out of the way. I'm so with you on that! Also, I spent at least a year--at least--learning how to find GMC and story errors. I used to be your average happy-go-lucky clueless reader. Ah, how I long for the days when I could read a book by My Favorite Author and not tear it to pieces! It came with practice, and most especially, with having my stupid Elephant-Swallowing Plot Holes pointed out over and over and over again. I have many, many such posts about that over in the archives of laceykaye.blogspot.com (they are also ported to laceykaye.com, but since they were originally posted in Blogger and not WordPress, the formatting is jacked up).

ISABEL I've got my pen and I'm WAITING! Let me tell you something Janice said to me the other day and that I live by. I NEVER send out scenes I think are perfect because they're just going to get trashed. I'd rather have all my issues laid out up front and then go back and make them flow than start with something I think is perfect only to have four people point out 160 logic problems. Grammar isn't that important in a synopsis until the story is approved. (Then, of course, it's VERRA important.)

B.E., you listed some great resources! I know I put myself on AuthorBlogs.com. Anyone with a blog should, I think. I'm so glad you have great cps! "They say" this is the time to forge lifetime friendships (before you're published and confident in your work). I totally agree.

THIS is why we email ninety-six times a day. Long-winded, anyone?

lacey kaye said...

Jacq--Yes, Leigh! An honorary Maven, for sure. I'm glad I got things pretty close to right, and on paper, too. One day we'll look back and sigh...

Sigh.

Bill, too funny. I can't imagine the dryer would help much, no. Unless your story was all wet!

ba ha ha ha!! Too easy!

lacey kaye said...

Actually, let me pimp that shiznit: Leigh

Jacqueline Barbour said...

Lacey, I'm glad you pimped Leigh's blog a second time because I jacked up the link in my comment! Sorry, Leigh.

And (teaser) perhaps Heather will want to vie for the grand prize in tomorrow's Jamboree...

lacey kaye said...

Oh, good. I felt like a total dork after I saw you'd already hyperlinked her.

Yes, teasers! Teasers are good!

Marianne said...

Critique partners! Goodness, what a great subject. And Lacey, thanks the the info on websites, I'll put it all to good use. And yes, here I am reading blogs instead of writing on this oh, so deary day in June---again.

As to critique partners, I'm all over that idea. Two years ago, as a fledgling writer want-ta-be, I plowed through a manuscript. Oh, look ma! Marianne is writing....NOT...so I joined RWA and entered a couple contest. Lordy, does the truth have the power to draw blood. Yes! But more important, it has the power to improve.

After one contest result came back with the comment "I'm impressed with your courage to write in a language other than your native tongue."---YIKES! once I stopped laughing, I cried. But I didn't give up, I got busy and joined a Yahoo group, a large one--Romance Critters.

And with that group, I realized the folly of my writing and my ego. Hell hath no fury like the power of the red pen. And, I for one, am so grateful. Critique after critique pointed out the huge errors in my grammar, plot pace, passive voice, purple prose. You name it. I was, and if truth be told, probably still am guilty. But I'm better, and I'm improving each day thanks to this group.

So now, I moderate Romance Critters (my way of giving back. A Karma thing. We Buddhist must focus on the karma, after all)....but moderator is a fancy name for housekeeper, and though I don't critique as much as I use to (for over a year, I did one critique a day. Yep, that a lot of critiques, but I learned from each and every one, and I'm grateful to all those writers who let me learn from their work.

And now, after FanLit, (Scarlet's in the house for my Avon friends!) I've found a new group, which focuses on historicals (I dabble in both contemps and historicals).

Though still active with Romance Critters, my new group is my writing home and sanctuary (Shout out to Doglady, Gillian, Erin, Terru Jo and Tweetie
!---love you, girls!).

We are called "Passion's Slaves" (thank you, Shakespeare!) and we are five fan litters who work at writing, critting and supporting each other.

We have a subtle self-imposed word count that we try to make. We call it "708 words a day, or die trying" and we require (by the sting of a cyber wet noodle---:) proof of our pose.

This proof ....POOP as we lovingly call it....is a database in which we much record a passage we wrote that day. And forgiveness is granted only if "Puke is involved" :) (Alas, there have been a few days in which I have resorted to the finger down the throat in order to avoid the 'wet noodle'...shhhhh, mums the word)

We also have an emotion of the day....Yeah! I get to choose the emotion (moderator power rocks!). And from that, we write two tags showing that emotion. NO telling, or the wet noodles rears its ugly head again. Can you tell I like my cyber whip? (grin)

Okay, so that is my not so short crit story. The bottom line is; critting works.

Yes, some come out wounded, (sorry to any and all who have been wounded by my honesty. Truly sorry) but others come out stronger and eventually published.

And in the end, the proof is always in our prose. So to all you writers out there; Go out and write some darn good POOP! Times a wasting.

I love my groups.

Vicki said...

I have cp who works for the same company as I do. Different departments but same place. We were friends before we started critiquing.

I knew she was wanting to write again and had written a long time ago (4 or 5 manuscripts)so I did what I thought was best. I invited her to our TARA meeting

She joined the same day. When she asked me to look at some of her writing I was not to sure at first since I didn't want to mess with the whole friendship thing.

We'd meet at Starbucks, load up on Venti Mocha and start. Both of us would start with the same line, "I really really like this...but." Till one day when I started to say that Laurie pretty much said stop. Don't say that again. I know you like it but we've got to get past that. And you know what. We did. We are very honest with each other and it's working great!

I know that I can trust her with anything and she knows she can trust me. We know each others story and it's so easy to help with the plotting.

On a sidenote I sure you guys already know this but inviting Erica was a great thing. Love her wisdom, writing, and encouragement.

lacey kaye said...

Marianne--I want to comment but I don't know where to start! Awesome post! LOL So anyway, first of all, IT CAN'T BE DREARY TODAY! We're having a barbque! Plus, it's the solstice. I demand sun for the solstice. It's, like, in the WORD.

Second, this cracked me up: After one contest result came back with the comment "I'm impressed with your courage to write in a language other than your native tongue." OMG no she didn't! Hilarious. Horrible. But SUCH a great story!

/Lacey waves at fellow Fanlitters

Vicki, we love Erica, too! Glad your work cp worked out. One of the PPPs sent her ms to a lady at work and it was AWFUL. The lady hated everything. Now, I'm all for the red pen and all advice is useful in some way, but this was soul-destroying. Again, not saying the lady SHOULD HAVE loved it. It just sucks that her opinion and the way it was presented wasn't really conducive to helping my friend. Although...we did eventually have to do the grudging thing and admit maybe she had a few good points.

Welcome to the Mavens, everyone!

Wendy Roberts said...

Loved your story!
I met a gang of ladies on the eHarlequin message boards and we formed a private yahoo group that was targetting Harlequin's Bombshell line. Well, none of us sold to Bombshell (probably a good thing since that line folded) but 4 out of 5 of us have sold multiple single title books so *yay* Whenever I need to rant or have a publishing question I go first to my Non-Bombshell ladies.

Jacqueline Barbour said...

Marianne wrote:
After one contest result came back with the comment "I'm impressed with your courage to write in a language other than your native tongue."---YIKES!

OMG, that has to be the most simultaneously hilarious and crushing contest feedback I've ever seen. I'm laughing and crying at the same time.

Darcy Burke said...

I actually *have* the emails we exchanged back on Jan 20 2006 and Jan 23 in 2006 - both your crit of my "conflict" scene and my crit of your conflict scene - with Senna! LOL. I actually had a CP at the time and when I asked Lacey to crit with me, I was only half-kidding. Then I raped her scene and she said, "Hell yeah!" (Hey, that's the way *I* like to remember it!)

Excellent historical recap Lacey! And I am so enjoying reading everyone's "genesis" stories! Marianne, your contest feedback was priceless!

Tomorrow's contest is going to crit-tacular, so be sure to be here!

Heather said...

Lacey: Thanks for the advice! I'm not gonna lie — I'm not too clear on what a crit loop is. I looked at a few on Yahoo Groups ... are these the crit loops you're talking about? Or are there others I'm just not aware of?

I'd love to join one. I want to join one. And I will join one, just as soon as I figure out where the heck they are.

Jacqueline Barbour said...

I'm not Lacey, but Heather, one of the Yahoo Groups I'd recommend is http://groups.yahoo.com/group/RWCcritique/. That's where I met Janice, in fact.

There are other critique loops out there, too, though. That's just one I know of off the top of my head. (I'm still subscribed, though I haven't posted anything there in a coon's age.)

lacey kaye said...

D- OMG, Senna! I really loved that name. Damn. Maybe I can make up my own name (as is suggested on the Native American site I frequent) and then have it shorten nicely to Senna.

Wendy, you gals are cooler than us because you've all SOLD! (Well, mostly!) I bet the dedications are fun, eh? (Ok, maybe I have dedications on my mind because I just saw one with MY NAME IN IT!)

Heather/B--thanks for answering, B. I know there's a bunch (Marianne talked about her loop, so maybe she can point you at it, too) but I don't know specific names. You can always make your own, too, which is nice because then you can make the rules!

Beth said...

Our Slaves group is the little voice in my ear reminding me I'm never alone.

Another set of intelligent eyes is essential to help you know what you're doing right and wrong in any manuscript.

I just lucked out and found the perfect group for me!
Gillian

Marianne said...

Hi, all....just checking back ...anything to keep from finishing this dang scene. Boy, these two characters are driving me nuts. Yak, yak, yak in my head all the time, and yet, when my scene is in front of me....they shut up like a frigid clam.

Lacey...a BBQ, sounds great, but break out the umbrella, kiddo---those are storm clouds on the horizon (grin)

Wendy.....pubbed in single title? Yowser, darlin' I'm pea green with envy. Sprinkle some magic dust my way, huh? I could use it. Big time!

Heather....RomCritters is the Yahoo Group I moderate. The addy is
website: http://www.romancecritters.com/ ----disregard the accepting members quarterly stuff. You want in, honey, and you're in. Just click and fill out the info, and our owner will activate your membership asap.

Well, I haven't made my 708 words today, but I've done a lot of lovely online shopping. Cha ching.....better get to the visa bill before dh does, or I'm a gonner.

Off to finish my scene. Tootles

Marianne said...

OMG.....another Passion's Slave is in the house.....waving to Beth (Gillian)....got that 708 done yet? (grin)

Heather said...

Jacqueline & Lacey: Thanks for the tips! I'm checking out RWC right now...

Marianne: Thank you, too. You made my day!

Erin McClune said...

Girls, I was excited to see your posts! Wave and smile going out to the Passion Slave girls.

Without the support of my crit group, Passion Slaves, this girl who mistakes her dogs liver pill as her daily vitamin pill (yeah, don't ask as my husband is still left shaking his head)--I would indeed be lost.

There is nothing like having a group, all striving for the important finish line together--the best part is that "eyes glazing over when you bring up your book" is gone. You found people who understand and actually want to hear about plot points and black moments.

By using a daily sounding board, made up of people who also know that horrid feeling of when your hero decides not to speak to you, the elusive finish line does not seem so far away. :)

In my case, my hero got demoted from a marquess to an earl with a slip of my fingers halfway through chapter one (don't you just hate those typos). Explains why he quit talking to me anyway...sigh... :) And thank goodness for crit partners that caught it...just too bad I didn't catch it before I entered that darn contest. :)

The Manuscript Mavens (love the name!) sound like one of those tight knit groups, every writer hopes to find.

lacey kaye said...

My advice for you...is to join one of the crit...and crit the way YOU want to be critted.

Yes, I'm quoting myself. I realized there was a thought missing here. What I was trying to say is that while you're looking for that "special someone," put your goods out there for people to see. That way you will repel (er, ok, maybe you don't want to REPEL) people who just want fuzzy-wuzzy compliments and attract the attention of people looking for brutal honesty. I certainly didn't mean anyone should run around being a total b*tch!

But maybe that was already clear :-)

Marianne said...

waving to Erin.....blush, blush from the critique partner who did NOT catch the marquess to earl demotion in her critique. Bad, Marianne... sorry, Erin darlin'.......

lacey kaye said...

Erin, so true! I love that we can email all day everyday about writing and never get tired of it. LOL on your hero refusing to talk to you! I hope you two have made nice since.

fwiw you Passion Slaves seem pretty dang tight, too.

Anonymous said...

Jacquline said: And (teaser) perhaps Heather will want to vie for the grand prize in tomorrow's Jamboree...

Yes, Heather, you absolutly should come back tomorrow. And please read my warning—er—guest blog.

Janice

Terry Stone said...

Nice site, Mavens! And great blog, Lacey! How lucky are all of us that found the perfect place to get our work looked at and worked over with new eyes?

For newbies, it is a daunting task trying to find a place to fit in and feel comfortable. I was estatic when Marianne and Beth (on FanLit they were Scarlett and Gillian) asked me to join them.

Our group, Passion Slaves, came together after FanLit, and what a fantastic group they are! I think this group of ladies that took me on are hugely talented, and I can always count on them to be there for me.

The things they can catch, that I never saw is amazing. I feel blessed to have found such a terrific group to call friends/partners.

ERiCA said...

B.E. said:
I found this place through Erica, but I can't remember how I found Erica.
I'm just glad you found me! =)

Bill said:
I find the third person a useful ploy...especially if I've been sporting a lampshade on my head. Do you have pics, Erica?
Unfortunately not... I always make that joke and have nothing to back it up, so I'll have to actually run around with a lampshade on my head one day soon so it can be caught on film. A friend did take a pretty hilarious photo of me today mugging for the camera in sneakers and a bathing suit (yes, it's as bizarre as it sounds) so maybe I'll post that one...

Lacey said:
I just figured you were trying Pirate for a change
Hm! Considering I'm from Tampa, that totally makes sense. And even people not from Tampa celebrate Talk Like A Pirate Day (...which was not yesterday)

Passions Slaves:
You guys sound so fun! I'm glad you're here!

Vicki said:
Inviting Erica was a great thing. Love her wisdom, writing, and encouragement.
Thank you so much! *blushes*

Heather said:
I'm not too clear on what a crit loop is.
Typically we mean the various critique groups on the Yahoo loops, although there are some good ones with their own non-Yahoo web sites. Check out the ones mentioned here and do a Google search... I joined and left at least a dozen over the course of a year, and it was a great opportunity to--[interrupting myself to post a link to something I said yesterday on Lacey's blog which addresses why I feel so warmly about crit loops as jumping off points. (My "comment" might've been longer than her initial post, so I don't want to yammer on and on again here)

Marianne said:
just checking back ...anything to keep from finishing this dang scene
So honored to be one of your procrastination destinations of choice! As long as you keep commenting, we'll keep responding to you, don't worry. (We love us some procrastination, too!) Hope things go better with your chars...

doglady said...

Great blog, ladies. Am I the last of the Slaves to check in? That's Pam always bringing up the rear. (If you SAW my rear you would understand why!) Getting the invitation to join Passions Slaves is one of the best things that has ever happened to me. (Waving madly to our merry band and to the Mistress of the Wet Noodle, most especially!) Let me tell you being in this group is like winning the lottery for this REALLY new writer.
The best part is that each one seems to have something that they specialize in when it comes to critting my stuff. They cover all the bases! I will tell you now there is NO WAY I would have made the finals in the Royal Ascot without the Slaves! Any writer who is lucky enough to find a group like this will become a better writer just by reading their work and receiving their fabulous advice and criticism. I think that that is probably the most important thing to do when joining or forming a writers' group. Find the group that FITS and you will never regret it. (When I say FITS, I mean really fits. Not like the outfit you can sort of get into and decide to buy because you saw it last week and just knew it would be perfect and even if it isn't you have to buy it because you are committed now. Speaking of committed, I think the guys in the white coats are at the door!) Bye for now!

Ava Rose Johnson said...

I found my crit partner on eharlequin and she is a BLESSING. She introduced me to her other crit partner and now we're a happy threesome (no dirty comments please). I can't believe how lucky i was to get those two.

lacey kaye said...

PAM! /Lacey waves

We were all so tickled to see you final in the RA! Congratulations! And then I heard you Passion Slaves are giving us Mavens some stiff competition in the Inner Vixen contest, too. I love your analogy to new clothes. I am SO the person who buys stuff "I'll grow into." Uh, yeah. When that starts happening, I'll let you know!

Ava! Welcome! Looks like we've got a coupla you eHarlequin gals here. I admit to total ignorance of this site, but I do have a cp targeting Blaze. Should she check you out? Should I? (See my post on critiquing outside your genre...prolly not the best idea in the world)

Lady Leigh said...

What a great site! I am so excited for you all!! Now I have even more reasons to procrastinate.

After working with a few cp's here and there, I started working with a critique group that was an off shoot of fanlit. It is a yahoo group and we post files online. Through blogging and other cp's, I've also started reaching out and getting crit on my first 3 chapters from more wonderful writers- many fanlit alum.

Currently I'm not sending my work out to anyone (so don't feel bad, Jacq!) I KNOW what needs to be done and I just need to bite the bullet and get it done. I feel like the next round of revisions needs to come from deep inside. The guts of the story I want to write. I keep thinking I am getting closer to being done with this layer and ready to send out a full for review, only to realize I still have a ways to go. Sigh. BUT, I am learning sooooo much.

I have decided I really want to make my first WIP publishable. If that takes another two years, so be it. The journey is fun (most of the time.)

Good luck with your new site!!

lacey kaye said...

I keep thinking I am getting closer to being done with this layer and ready to send out a full for review, only to realize I still have a ways to go.

I so hear you. Are you checking out Year of Craft this month?

Erum said...

Man, this brings back memories. (And memories of massive guilt.)

~ Erum

Manuscript Mavens










Manuscript Mavens