Really Doing It Now

Steampunks - models Liza James and Jared Axelr...

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A weird thing happened this week.

You see, I put forth effort… and things started happening.

Let’s take a few steps back. A few weeks ago, Natalie Whipple organized some Critique Partner Classifieds on her blog. This is REALLY cool. Basically,  when you research writing and/or seeking publication everyone suggests that you join a critique group or find a few critique partners. It can be wonderful to have friends and family reading your writing (and I have a few of the best Friend Readers in the world), but they are limited in how they can advise.

Picture this:

Katie: Hey – best friend reader in the world – can you read this draft of my query letter? I’ve got two pages done and I think I’m going to send it out to 50 agents next week.

Friend: Hmmm… I think you need a comma here and this paragraph is a little wordy… but… looks good.

What Friend doesn’t realize is that I made at least 2 (and more like 3) REALLY BIG mess-ups in this example. Nor should Friend Reader be expected to know. Critique Partner, on the other hand, is also scouring the webs to figure out this whole getting published thing, so she knows that two pages of query will NOT get me picked out of the slush. She knows that mass-querying a form letter is death and will make agents hate me. Additionally, Crit. Partner knows what it feels like to receive a rejection after a partial request from the agent… the one I’m sure will want to rep me. She knows how hard it is to rewrite chapter 17 for the third time, only to find that it still isn’t right. Critique Partner is running the race with me, while Reader Friend is cheering from the bleachers.

So Critique Partner Classifieds… I sent a description of myself, my manuscript, and the kind of feedback I need to Natalie Whipple, who posted it on her blog.

I sorta hoped that was enough.

I thought I’d done all of the work there was to be done, and someone would read my ad and contact me.

Didn’t happen.

Nothing happened.

For more than two weeks.

But a few days ago, I remembered the classifieds and was feeling a little more motivated than usual, so I headed over to Between Fact and Fiction (that’s the title of Natalie’s blog) and read through the middle grade ads. I picked out about five of the ads and sent emails to each of the writers in those ads letting them know I was interested in partnering up.

It was fun.

Therefore, I moved on to the Young Adult ads and picked out a bunch of those for follow-up.

Now for the magic! This! morning! I! had several! responses! in my in-box!

And I’m giddy and gleeful about a few of them.

It feels like I’m really doing this now.

The one I’m most excited about is Amber. She’s 21 (I think – she has a blog, but I don’t feel much like clicking over right at this moment). She liked THE BOOK OF ELI and she writes Steampunk.


Is that not the coolest sub genre you’ve ever heard of. It makes me want to convert. Why write MG Paranormal Fantasy when you can write STEAMPUNK!


Forget the fact that I hadn’t any clue what steampunk is until after reading Amber’s ad and googling and wiki-ing it. I even went to Barnes and Noble today to make a few purchases and research steampunk a bit, and guess what?

The people who work there didn’t all know what it is… because only those of us who’re in the know know… and I am in the know.


5 thoughts on “Really Doing It Now

  1. Pingback: Waiting for Critique « Anne Gallagher

  2. Pingback: Looking For HEA–Critique Groups «

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