Thank you!

On June 16th, the Many Shades blog will be closed.
The authors thank you for your readership and hope you will come visit them at their personal sites via the links to the left.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Back in the saddle again...

Yup, I am back in the proverbial writing saddle and it feels good. A little over a month ago I joined a new critique group. Stephani and Sue are members of my Greater Detroit RWA chapter and I have known both of them for awhile now. It’s a very good fit, if I do say so myself. We compliment one another quite well. Seems the biggest obstacle we have is meshing our schedules to meet. So far we are only managing two times a month.

Yesterday was one of those times. We were supposed to go to Lansing for the Mid Michigan RWA meeting to support a member of the GDRWA who was presenting and then do our critique afterwards, but incoming weather changed our plans. A snowfall of 4-8 inches was called for so the three of us chickened out and decided to stay close to home. So we met at Big Boy, starting the critique session with food. (Always a good thing (G)) Then after some chit chat we got down to business.

We had decided at the onset of forming the group to exchange pages via email, then critique them at your leisure, print and bring to the next meeting. We take turns going through each of the pages (20 page count limit). I have to say we also have no problem getting up in the restaurant and acting something out if we feel it doesn’t ring true. For example, in one of Sue’s scenes she had the heroine looking over her shoulder. I didn’t agree, I said the scene showed the heroine as looking down the front of her shoulder. Sue was demonstrating looking over her shoulder and I insisted she was looking straight down while the other patrons of the restaurant probably thought we were insane. And I did notice after awhile, no one was seated near us. Oh well, their loss as we are very amusing!

After a white knuckled ride home that normally takes 30 minutes took close to an hour thanks to the now billowing snowstorm, I looked over the pages. Every comment Sue and Stephani gave me makes my manuscript stronger and tighter. And for that I am eternally grateful. The book I am presently working on is one I plan to shop to agents very shortly. This is a book I have wanted to write my entire life and one I hope helps me break into a New York based publishing house.

What is it about, you ask? Ok, maybe I’m making you ask at this point. The title is Tainted Bloodlines and my pitch is as follows. This is for women’s fiction and runs approximately 90,000 words in length.

All her life Catherine Cay Sterling fought to distance herself from her mother’s shadowed and sinful past. But will she be able to accomplish this before the same tainted blood that flows through her veins leads to her own demise?

See, aren’t you glad you asked? (G) Seriously though, I love my critique group and am very glad to have found them. I think critiques groups are worth the effort, but at the same time I feel that when a group doesn’t work you have to make the decision to leave it. If two people share the same comments about something in your writing, listen to them. But if one person says yes it works and the other says no it doesn’t, then review it again and make your own decision. As we all know, all opinions are subjective. What one likes another may hate and vice versa.

So while the snow has died down here, it’s still bitter cold out there and this is a perfect time for me to end my blog, grab a cup of hot cider and start writing. Oh, the picture posted at the top is one I took in Aruba last November. That's the view I would love to have out my home office window one day! Happy Sunday everyone!

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