On Beta Readers, Critique Partners, and Cheerleaders

I’ve been really lucky in finding people who are willing to collaborate with me on my work, and my fellow debs have given some fantastic advice about how to find and work with the best kind of partners for you, so I thought I might use my time to tell y’all a bit about how I try to support my readers. Critique Partners: My first and best critique partner is my…

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Your Ultimate Guide to Finding and Keeping Critique Partners

So…you have a finished draft of a novel? Congratulations! Most aspiring writers never get that far, so already, you’re ahead of the game. But now what? You know enough to know that you need readers. But who? And where do you find them?   First of all, you need qualified readers. Not your neighbor, or your sister’s boyfriend’s cousin, no matter how many books per year they read. You need…

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Critique Partners and Beta Readers—Some Stranger Than Others

  I have had several kinds of critique partners on Girlish. I didn’t have a writing group that met once a week and read each other’s works in progress, but I did have several key people, all located in different parts of the country, who read my work and helped me whip it into shape. Some of the chapters were written during my MFA at West Virginia Wesleyan College, where…

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The Beta Question

The above quote from the inestimable Neil Gaiman is a lot of why I’ve had beta readers since my fanfic days, but have never had a dedicated critique partner in another writer, at least not since leaving school. Writers have a much, much harder time resisting the urge to say how we would do something — which is not always helpful when talking to another writer. I think it can…

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Latest News

[News Flash] January 14, 2018

Congratulations to Cassie Frye, winner of our #DebBallGiveaway of THE GIRL WITH THE RED BALLOON by Katherine Locke .   Thank you so much to yesterday’s guest, Jennifer Johnson-Blalock! If you haven’t already, enter the #DebBallGiveaway to win a five page critique from Hyphen. You can enter by sharing our post on Facebook and/or retweeting the following tweet: Guest Post by Jennifer Johnson-Blalock on the Dreaded Synopsis https://t.co/twMSfPbsxU pic.twitter.com/ijoYyW2F3b — The Debutante…

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Guest Post by Jennifer Johnson-Blalock on the Dreaded Synopsis

I’m so pleased to introduce you to Jennifer Johnson-Blalock of Hyphen Editing and Coaching. I first met Jennifer through Pitch Wars when she was a participating agent, and as a reader, I’m a huge fan of some of the books she’s represented over the years. Jennifer travels the world, reading, editing, and coaching, and if you are in need of a coach of any kind – for editing, for querying,…

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Speaking of Distractions…

I totally forgot to write my blog post yesterday. This isn’t a bit. I was distracted by life and day job and eight million other things and totally freaking spaced. So definitely listen to what I’m about to tell you. Writing has never been an act of perfection for me. I write messy first drafts and carve moments out of my life wherever I can find them to get words…

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distraction

Julie’s Three Easy Steps to Writing Through Distraction

My entire life is a distraction. From the moment my children wake up in the morning to the moment they fall asleep, it seems their sole goal in life is to make sure I never complete a task from start-to-finish without being called away from it at least once. When it comes to (“There is a spider in the bathroom and no one can pee until you get it”) writing,…

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When Kimmery Gets Distracted

  Today’s topic is Writing Through Distraction, which I feel eminently qualified to discuss because my God, it is freakishly cold in here. I think my hand just fell off. Where did I put those fingerless gloves and the little ski-package hand warmer thingies? The key to writing through the inevitable maelstrom of carnage that will occur as you are trying to finish your assignment is holy smoke! Modern Mrs….

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