Met with my critique group yesterday. Three (sometimes four) of us get together once a month to go over our pages. Being in a critique group is the most helpful thing I do to improve my writing.
If you are writing a novel, show it to somebody. And not your mom, unless she is Nora Roberts. Show another writer or two. Writers are everywhere. You can find them in bookstores, libraries, in colleges, online. Locally I know of a group that meets at the Rochester Barnes and Noble, the Shelby library, and my own school, Macomb College, has a new writer’s group. Online its as easy as doing a quick Yahoo group search.
As I gear up to send out a round of queries, I need to be prepared. If the query comes back with “send three chapters and a synopsis” I want to have that ready to shoot right back. If the query comes back with “send the full ms.” I want to be able to do that too, while the agent still remembers my query.
Because of my critique group, I feel confident my first three chaptes are the best I can make them. Or, they will be when I take out the distracting bits that don’t add to the story and put in the essential things I left out. They really nailed it for me yesterday on chapter three. And here I was thinking I’d finished. No. Still a bit of clean up to do.
And of course I must write the dreaded synopsis…