Monday, February 1, 2010

To Critique or not to Critique

Hey all,

It's Monday again and you all know what that means. That's right. Time for a guest blogger. Today we have Angela Kay Austin, whose first book, Love's Chance, will be published on February 11, 2010. Angela tells us a little about herself in this manner on her website...

Once, I heard an actress describe why she wanted to act. She said, “When I watched movies, I pictured myself in every role.” That’s how I feel about writing. I imagine my ‘voice’ telling the stories. Any story. Whether it’s a book, television, movie or magazine I try to figure out what’s going to happen. I try to tell the story MY way.

So, I write.

Since I do the same exact thing, I think Angela and I will get along just fine. So everyone give a big welcome to Angela Kay Austin!!!


Critique groups?

How many of you have or are a member of a critique group? How many critique groups or partners have you had since you first began writing?

Well, I have had several groups, and partners, and I can’t say that all of my experiences have been great. In fact, some of them have been down right horrible.

My first experience with a critique partner came when I joined a local romance writing chapter, and sent out a call for partners on the listserv. Only one person responded. I was new to the group, and the existing members all had critique partners. So, I sent out the notice in hopes that there was someone out there that didn’t attend meetings that might respond. And, she did.
Let’s just say, our personalities didn’t match, and we lived too far apart.

The next experience was with a group. A group I started, but was kicked out of. Why? Because, as I was told, they didn’t know if I could write fast enough, and I worked a lot. Hmmm. Well, yes, I have to admit I work full-time, and usually, I write at night after work. So, I guess they were right.

Now, my critique partners are all online. We never meet in person, and it is GREAT! We exchange work back and forth with comments through Word’s track changes, and it works like a charm. Why was this so hard to find? Who knows, but thank goodness I did.

Because I’ve been able to work at my own pace in my own way, I’ve finished two manuscripts, and I’m working on several others. The feedback I receive is thoughtful, and constructive allowing me to strengthen my writing with each new comment.

I’d almost given up on finding a critique group that ‘fit’ me, but a little diligence and that group has helped me reached my first sale: Love’s Chance will be released by Red Rose Publishing on February 11th, 2010.

I have another piece I’m resubmitting to a different publisher this month. It’s still amazing how far this group has brought me. If you have had some of the experiences with critique groups that I’ve had, I urge you not to give up. Just try different types and formats. You never know what might work.


Thanks, Angela for that look into crit groups. I know they are often a huge reason why some writers do such excellent work.

Look for Angela's first book, Love's Chance to come out on February 11, 2010. Visit her website at

Hugs and see you all tomorrow when I'll rant about the woes of packing!!!


Phylis said...

Glad you never gave up! I bet that was heard to deal with.

Maria said...

Hard to believe that you got kicked out of your own group for not writting fast enough. That saying that you can't please people all of the time is soo true.
Glad you didn't give up and are getting published, the cover for your book looks very nice.

Angela said...

Phylis, I'm glad I never quit, too. I came so close to laying down my pen, and doing just that.

Thank you for reading!

Angela said...

Maria, I couldn't believe it either. And, instead of doing it in private. They did it at the end of one of our local chapter meetings. Needless to say, I quit the chapter, too, and joined another.

I love the cover art. T.D. McKinney (a multi-published author, 17 to be exact, designed it for me.) I think it tells the whole story of the book.

Thanks for dropping by.

Angela said...

I want to thank C.J. for allowing me to be her guest today. In fact, I'd like to offer a gift.

For anyone that can take a look at the coverart, and let me know what story they think it tells, then post it to my site at I'll read the entries, and give a refrigerator magnet to the person who has the best idea. This is totally subjective ;-).

Have fun!

LaVerne Thompson said...

Hey Angela,

Great post. I'm glad you didn't give up. Congrats on the first release of many for you.


CJ England said...

Thanks to everyone who came by and supported Angela. I agree that we are all better off that you didn't give up, yet pushed to get your work out to the world.

Good luck and many, many sales!!!