When I first started writing, I thought I was hot writerly stuff. I was sure my writing was pretty awesome and perfect coming out of my head. My writing was so good, agents would be fighting to hand over million dollar checks and movie deals.
A friend offered to read a chapter and give advice. I happily handed over my words, knowing she too would be astonished.
She kindly read.
She asked, "What's the dog's breed? Or name?"
I jokingly replied, "Can't you read my mind?"
Yeah. My baby story was not ready to join the real world. I was not as good as I thought.
I wasn't sure where to turn now. League of Utah Writers happened to have a writer's conference that weekend that I attended. Josi Kilpack spoke about her critique and how many books they had published between them (25?) and that is when I knew I needed a critique group. I wanted to be a better writer. I needed a few fresh pairs of eyes on my writing. I hoped I could find such a group.
And I Did!
We nicknamed ourselves Shark&Pebbles (every group needs a nickname!) and have been together for FOUR years. We have SIX (?) books published between us with many, many more on the way. I seriously love my group.
I'll introduce each person in my group and what they say about our group:
JULIE DAINES~ When trying to get published, submitting a clean, polished manuscript is of utmost importance. My critique group is so good at finding what’s wrong with my writing and helping me fix it. They can spot everything from repetitive sentence structure to serious holes in the plot. They help me brainstorm how to make my story and characters stronger, and are incredibly supportive. Without this invaluable input, my writing would not be where it is today, and I doubt I would be a published author.
SCOTT RHOADES~ After a while, the help expands beyond critique sessions. When I write, i think of each of you and what you're going to call out if I don't change it.
YAMILE MENDEZ ~ respect, commitment, and support. You guys know what to say to make me feel better when I'm in my lows, and you know when to push me when I can take the extra critique. I love you for it!
JAIME THELER~ Jaime LOVES us but she is so busy finishing her amazing book that she can't come out and play right now.
Also, because Julie has the most recently book published, I decided to spotlight her here!
Julie Daines was born in Boston, Massachusetts, raised in Utah, and educated around the world. As a high school student, she spent her summers hiking the deserts of southern Utah, drawing inspiration from the various plants and animals to write children’s stories and legends.
She studied Zoology and Secondary Education at Brigham Young University, paying her way through college by performing live reptile demonstrations at the university’s life science museum.
She spent eighteen months living in London where she studied and fell in love with English Literature, Sticky Toffee Pudding, and the fellow who ran the kebab store around the corner.
After editing for other authors, she decided to take up writing again--this time in the young adult genre. She feels qualified to write for teens because, as a young adult, she mastered the art of drama. Oh, and she has some skulking around the house.
Julie is a member of SCBWI, the League of Utah Writers, and Utah Children’s Writers. She frequently attends conferences where she has won a few awards for her writing, and is part of a superb writer’s group.
Enough of me in the third person. If your curiosity has still not been sated, then here’s a little more of the interesting stuff:
Things I’ve done:
Things I’ve Never Done:
Amazon Buying links:
Julie Daines | Author
A Blind Eye