The Insecure Writer’s Support Group ~ No#49

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time.

This month I’m co-hosting alongside the awesome L.G. Keltner, Denise Covey, Sheri Larsen, J.Q. Rose, and Chemist Ken.

Don’t forget to visit them and thank them for co-hosting!

Our Twitter hashtag is #IWSG.

You can join the IWSG Facebook page:

You can also join the IWSG Critique Circle:

And don’t forget we’re announcing the winners of the Anthology Contest over at the IWSG site!

Have an awesome 2016!

Now onto the business…
I’m putting out a request for 2 or 3 critique partners. I have a manuscript that is unfolding and I’m reaching a point where I need other pairs of eyes to help whip it into shape.

I also need a ‘brainstorming buddy’…one or two…you know sometimes you need to pick somebody’s brain for a few minutes, especially when I’m busy with my microfiction pieces (under 500 words) and I’m working to a deadline.

With regards to CPs – do you stay with the same CPs for all your stories, or do you change from one project to the next? I’ve read (more than once) that it’s good if one of your CPs writes in a totally different genre.

What do I write? I write stories that don’t have any ‘other-worldly beings’ (okay, I did write an urban fantasy story, but only once) but there are always twists and turns…and lots of suspense!

If you’re interested, then leave your e-mail in the comments section below or you can PM me on Facebook and we can take it from there…

Questions: How many CPs do you have? Is it a mutual arrangement? Do you have CPs from a different genre? Do you have a ‘brainstorming buddy’ as well?

Happy IWSG Day!


  1. Denise Covey on January 6, 2016 at 10:52 am

    Hi fellow co-host! How’re you doing? Glad to hear your ms is coming along and you realise you now need more eyes.

    Truly, I’ve found it’s better to have crit partners who write in a similar way and fairly close in genre. Some might disagree. Though if I challenge myself and write out of my genre, I’ll ask someone who is great in that genre to cast their eyes over it. I’m not a strong plotter, so having a brainstorm person is an awesome idea. I have 2 people I’ve done this with in the past and I can’t rave about it enough!

    No doubt people will tell you you need a local group to help. That’s never been successful for me as most people I come across or hook up with in the local writing community write fantasy and science fiction and don’t ‘get’ romance, so I’m a great believer in online swaps.

    Sorry. I’ve raved on. But I know that you have so many questions and maybe something I said may resonate with you. As I’ve said, I’d love to swap mss with you when it suits.

    Have a great IWSG!

    Your Aussie mate, Denise 🙂

    • Michelle Wallace on January 10, 2016 at 8:17 pm

      Hey Aussie mate 🙂
      I did get plenty of offers for CP and brainstorming buddies! One can never have too many brainstorming buddies.
      I’m looking forward to working with you…and the ms swap.

  2. Shah Wharton on January 6, 2016 at 12:20 pm

    I will help brain storm your micro fiction if you think I might be able to help? I’d offer to CP the longer works too but I’m a slow reader and hate to keep people waiting for feedback. I write dark fantasy, horror, urban fantasy, and contemporary (occassionally sizzling) romance under a psuedonym. As a ghostwriter I’ve worked on all genres, however. 🙂

    For me, ALL feedback is helpful, whether from writers in the same genre or writers in a totally different genre, or even non-writers. I just love to see my words through other people’s eyes. It reveals so much, especially about possibilities for change I may never have considered. I don’t have any regular CP’s unfortunately. I do have a few awesome regular romance beta readers though. 🙂

    Happy 2016. May it bring alll you hope for.

    Shah X

    • Michelle Wallace on January 10, 2016 at 8:22 pm

      Thanks for the offer Shah! 🙂
      With your fabulous resume and experience as a multi-genre ghostwriter, you definitely have LOTS to offer!
      I’m looking forward to brainstorming with you! 🙂

  3. Lidy on January 6, 2016 at 1:11 pm

    Happy New Year and thanks for co-hosting! ? I get feedback and critiques on my writing from multiple people because I’m on sites like Scribophile, Book Country and You Write On. But would need to find a regular CP and beta readers too. Finding a good CP/beta reader relationship isn’t always easy, so I wish you much luck.

    • Michelle Wallace on January 10, 2016 at 8:27 pm

      Some people take long to find the right CP match, but they say it’s like magic when it does happen.
      I’m very patient and know it will come together…in good time. 🙂

  4. joylene on January 6, 2016 at 1:24 pm

    Michelle, I happy to be looking for a critique partner too! If you’re interested and think I’d be a good match, please give me a dingle, or maybe an email. Thanks for co-hosting this month. Thanks for all you do, for all your support. Happy New Year!

    • Michelle Wallace on January 10, 2016 at 9:09 pm

      Thanks Joylene. I also think we’d be a good match. 🙂
      I’ll contact you soon.

  5. Pat Garcia on January 6, 2016 at 1:32 pm

    Hi and Happy New Year!

    Thank you for co-hosting. I wish you all the best for 2016 and hope you get a good group of critic partners for your manuscript.


    • Michelle Wallace on January 10, 2016 at 9:12 pm

      Thank you Pat!
      I’ve had a good response. The process is on track.

  6. Melodie Campbell on January 6, 2016 at 2:06 pm

    I have three – we meet monthly. All are published authors with trad publishers in the same genre (but we write in different subgenres). We write too fast to share all our work on a monthly basis, but when a book is complete, we also beta read for each other, before the manus go off to the publisher. Nice to meet you!

    • Michelle Wallace on January 10, 2016 at 9:23 pm

      Sounds like a great team…everybody’s on the same page…literally. 🙂
      Nice to meet you too!

  7. Tamara Narayan on January 6, 2016 at 2:38 pm

    I miss my local writer’s group. Two of the main participants moved away and it kind of fell apart after that. I think finding critique partners online is a fine way to go.

    • Michelle Wallace on January 10, 2016 at 9:44 pm

      A physical writer’s group with members who understand each other, must be awesome. Maybe I’ll find such a group some day.
      But yes, online CPs work well for lots of writers.

  8. L.G. Keltner on January 6, 2016 at 2:40 pm

    Hello fellow co-host! Having a CP that writes in a different genre can be useful as long as said CP has an appreciation for the genre that you’re writing. I have a writing buddy that I like to bounce ideas off of, and that’s certainly useful for the times when my creativity well seems to be running dry.

    • Michelle Wallace on January 10, 2016 at 9:46 pm

      Hey L.G!
      I really don’t think that your creative well will run completely dry any time soon!
      You’re a great writer! 🙂

  9. Deb Hawkins on January 6, 2016 at 2:40 pm

    Thanks for co-hosting!

  10. Megan Morgan on January 6, 2016 at 2:43 pm

    Happy New Year, Michelle! I send you good vibes for finding the perfect critique partner–may they find their way to you!

  11. Bish Denham on January 6, 2016 at 2:59 pm

    I have beta/crit readers who write in different and the same genres and for different age groups. I would suggest not having too many, 3 or 4 is plenty otherwise you can get overloaded with suggestions and have a difficult time figuring out what you really need to do.

    • Michelle Wallace on January 10, 2016 at 10:08 pm

      I really want a variety of perspectives, but don’t want to be overwhelmed or confused by too many differing views. I suppose I’ll eventually figure it out.
      Thanks Bish!

  12. Angela Wooldridge on January 6, 2016 at 3:12 pm

    Hi Michelle,
    Happy New Year! I’m happy to be a brainstorming buddy. I can’t guarantee how much time I could spare for CP-ing, or if we’d match, how about seeing how the brainstorming goes and take it from there?

    • Michelle Wallace on January 10, 2016 at 10:11 pm

      Thank you for the offer, Angela!
      I understand that you must be busy. Good idea to try the brainstorming and take it from there. 🙂

  13. Anna on January 6, 2016 at 3:19 pm

    What I look for in a CP is truth without flowers. They tend to distract me. I need to know where they think I screwed up or could do better. Hopefully, they’ve offered some suggestions as well. If they’ve read my work before, they can tell me when I’m slacking off.

    But now I finish my work and polish it before I offer it up for critique. There are long waits between being called to action. I also prefer the same in return.

    When you are finished with the overall project and if you need a set of eyes, I’ll take a look. Gladly take a look.

    Anna from elements of emaginette

    • Michelle Wallace on January 10, 2016 at 10:22 pm

      I love the way you put it – truth without flowers.
      As I mentioned to somebody, I’m wearing my “big girl writer pants”, so I want honesty.
      Thank you for the generous offer, Anna. The project is still unfolding…but I’ll contact you when the time comes.

  14. Alex J. Cavanaugh on January 6, 2016 at 3:43 pm

    Hope you get lots of offers!
    I’ve had one critique partner for most of my books, but the others have changed. And there’s always one who doesn’t write in my genre, and that really helps.
    Thanks for co-hosting today.

    • Michelle Wallace on January 10, 2016 at 10:29 pm

      Yes I did. Plenty of CP and brainstorming buddy offers.
      Thank you.

  15. Stephanie Scott on January 6, 2016 at 3:47 pm

    I have an in-person critique group (we just again met last night) assembled from my larger romance writers chapter. The best part of the in-person critiques is the discussion and brainstorming we do. That has been SO helpful. Each of us has strengths and different insights, so that discussion has led to solving plot issues, titling books (my contracted for publishing book has a title my CP thought up!), developing characters, and career advice. One of the writers didn’t want to bother her busy agent about an update and we encouraged her to treat the relationship like she would business with her day job–you are a professional now. Days later she got a new book deal after she urged her agent to submit her work. Wow! I can list more examples, but basically, finding one or two people who have tangible writing goals and a drive to acheive and you can really find motivation.

    Beyond that, I trade pages with writers I’ve never met in person (know online) or writers I know through various conferences and workshops. That input is valuable too because they are reading based on what’s on the page, not on knowing me well personally. I think it’s good to have a mix for different perspectives.

    And, finding writes in your genre is so crucial. I learned a lot from having someone who reads only adult fantasy read my contemporary YA, but I learn the most from those who write what I do.

    • Michelle Wallace on January 10, 2016 at 10:33 pm

      A variety of strengths/insights with each writer bringing something different to the table which balances out at the end. Sounds like good teamwork. 🙂

  16. Elizabeth Alsobrooks on January 6, 2016 at 4:07 pm

    Hi there! I feel like I’m doing homework, writing on this lined paper! LOL! Thanks so much for co-hosting, BTW! As to brainstorming…I just love doing this. I’ve been lucky enough to have a group of critique writing buddies and have a great brainstorming buddy. I highly recommend this! RWA is the best source for connecting with everyone in the romance field. Join your local guild, join their website, and hook up with some like-minded writing buddies!

    • Michelle Wallace on January 10, 2016 at 10:36 pm

      Thanks for the advice and encouragement! Much appreciated.
      Hope you had fun ‘doing homework’.

  17. LX Cain on January 6, 2016 at 4:18 pm

    Thanks for co-hosting! I’ve had basically the same 4-5 CPs for about 5 years. We all write different genres, but all studied craft together, so we all agree about what’s “good” or what’s “bad” writing. I picked up a few new CPs for my most recent novel. Male CPs because I wanted to be sure I got my male mc right. It worked out well for me and the chafracter, though with all those CPs, it took a long time. (And still waiting on a last CP’s crit.) For me, my CPs make all the difference and have helped me grow as a writer, not to mention being supportive and encouraging.

    • Michelle Wallace on January 10, 2016 at 10:39 pm

      Sounds like a ‘CP match made in heaven’. 🙂
      You guys have been together from day one…grown together along the way. Am I right? It does sound like the perfect way to build a CP group.

  18. Julie Flanders on January 6, 2016 at 4:30 pm

    Happy New Year, Michelle!! Here’s to a great 2016. 🙂

    • Michelle Wallace on January 10, 2016 at 10:40 pm

      Happy New Year, Julie! 🙂
      A toast to 2016. May it bring more writing!

  19. Crystal Collier on January 6, 2016 at 4:37 pm

    CPs… I have a so many I’ve used through the years, and it all depends on availability and genre. Yes, I pick my CPs based on the genre because I want a response from the intended audience, although there are 3 to 5 bread and butter CPs I trust with anything. Still, no one sees my work until it’s been through 3 drafts at least. I think half the joy of getting out there is building these relationships with people who you can trust.

    • Michelle Wallace on January 11, 2016 at 1:48 pm

      “…half the joy of getting out there is building these relationships with people who you can trust.” I agree. I’ve built so many wonderful relationships with different writers.
      Sounds like you’ve had CPs across the board! I can imagine the wealth of knowledge gleaned from different writers.
      I’d love a peek inside your writerly brain. 🙂

      • Crystal Collier on January 13, 2016 at 3:51 pm

        LOL! If you write multiple genres, you have to rub shoulders with those who hang in each arena, eh? I have a funny feeling though that if you took a peek inside my writerly brain all you’d find is swirly gray matter. 😉

        • Michelle Wallace on January 13, 2016 at 4:29 pm

          Swirly gray matter? I don’t believe it!
          Are you telling me that swirly gray matter birthed The Mirror People? 🙂

          • Crystal Collier on January 20, 2016 at 8:18 pm

            Indeed, though I won’t give you the particulars. That one kind of came gliding out on its own.

  20. Hilary on January 6, 2016 at 4:39 pm

    Hi Michelle – looks like you hit the bulls-eye here with the comments – great answers for you …

    Someone should write this up as a blog post – or after you’ve finished this draft – do the blog post with your thoughts on how it went having followed some suggestions from here …

    Fascinating – good luck for the coming year .. cheers Hilary

    • Michelle Wallace on January 11, 2016 at 1:52 pm

      Hilary, you are spot on.
      A compilation of the above answers about varied CP experiences, is a blog post on its own. Very informative for those who are new to the world of betas and critique partners. 🙂

  21. Susan Gourley on January 6, 2016 at 4:57 pm

    I don’t know if I agree that a CP should be out of your chosen genre. Having a brainstorming group can really help you find twists or write your way out of a corner.

    • Michelle Wallace on January 11, 2016 at 2:22 pm

      I tend to have lots of twists, so the ‘brainstormers’ will be a big help! 🙂

  22. C. Lee McKenzie on January 6, 2016 at 5:25 pm

    Hello Madam Co-Hostess with the Mostess!

    I’m a good brainstormer, and I could take a look at some short stuff for you. Right now I have three crit partners and all are being rather prolific, so I’m a bit behind in my crit duties.

    Let me know if I can be of help.

    • Michelle Wallace on January 11, 2016 at 2:38 pm

      I can’t wait to pick your brain, Lee!
      I’m looking forward to it. 🙂

  23. Jacqui on January 6, 2016 at 5:40 pm

    I’m subscribing to your comments just to see what the answers to your great questions are. I have the same concerns.

    • Michelle Wallace on January 11, 2016 at 2:41 pm

      There are great comments.
      It’s amazing how different the CP experience is for each writer. It’s a process that can’t really be defined.

  24. Charity Bradford on January 6, 2016 at 5:42 pm

    Happy New Year! I wish I had time to help you with your story. In the past I’ve enjoyed doing that for friends. 🙁

    I have a set group of crit partners that I go to in various stages. Bless those that get the first round! They are the ones that help me brain storm. Some are in the same genre, some are just readers, but it’s always good to see how they each connect or disconnect to different aspects of my stories. Good luck with yours!

    • Michelle Wallace on January 11, 2016 at 2:45 pm

      You are busy and it’s understandable. 🙂
      So your first round CPs double as brainstormers…makes sense…
      It will be interesting to see how the CP process unfolds.

  25. Loni Townsend on January 6, 2016 at 5:52 pm

    I haven’t done a CP exchange in a while because I don’t have all my story lined up right yet. But I typically check back with my existing CPs. Occasionally, I’ll reach out for someone new, if I’m looking to check for something in particular. But I’ve found I work well with some CPs for a reason. 🙂

    Best of luck finding some that work well for you!

    • Michelle Wallace on January 11, 2016 at 3:01 pm

      It makes sense that you’ll return to the CPs you work well with. It probably makes life a whole lot easier. 🙂

  26. Christine Rains on January 6, 2016 at 5:57 pm

    I have two all-the-time CPs, one of which is also my editor, formatter, and all around person of awesomeness! I have a third CP that critiques for me when she has time. I have six beta readers I can use depending on if they have time. All of these are mutual arrangements. Most of them are writing different genres. I brainstorm with my CPs, betas, writing group, husband, kid, and the cat. 🙂 Good luck and here’s to a wonderful 2016.

    • Michelle Wallace on January 11, 2016 at 3:05 pm

      A CP who is also editor and formatter…I like the sound of this! Smart.
      Saves time and money I’m sure…and gets the job going quicker.
      …and the person probably knows your writing well by now… 🙂
      I love your brainstorming line up!

  27. Michael Ditton on January 6, 2016 at 6:33 pm

    I know you have lots of brainstorm buddies, but brainstorming is a specialty of mine and I am always happy to help.
    I’m almost embarrassed to ask but I will not let that stop me, what is CP?
    Thanks for commenting on my BLOG

    • Michelle Wallace on January 11, 2016 at 3:06 pm

      As I said, one can’t have too many brainstorming buddies! 🙂
      Thanks Michael!

  28. Dean K Miller on January 6, 2016 at 6:42 pm

    I haven’t been in a group for quite a while, also haven’t written much worthy of critique since then either. Started one, lasted a couple of years, a few scrapes and bumps, but it was good.

    They are a tough thing at times, but find the right one and watch out. Great things happen. Good luck in your search and thanks for co-hosting today.

    • Michelle Wallace on January 11, 2016 at 3:08 pm

      I’ve heard that it takes time to find the right CP match. Like a trial and error process. I have patience. 🙂

  29. chemistken on January 6, 2016 at 7:03 pm

    I use the same CPs every time, and add more whenever I get a chance. I need plenty of eyes on my work if I want it to be the best it can be. And believe me, I need plenty of eyes for that.

    • Michelle Wallace on January 11, 2016 at 3:40 pm

      Hey Ken, we all need lots of eyes. Well, I know I do. 🙂

  30. L. Diane Wolfe on January 6, 2016 at 7:41 pm

    I’ve used one CP consistently for years, but when I finish my next project, I’ll find at least one more.

    • Michelle Wallace on January 11, 2016 at 3:42 pm

      They say you shouldn’t fix something that isn’t broken.
      It’s obvious that you have a good CP match. 🙂

  31. Juneta on January 6, 2016 at 7:50 pm

    I have a few lined up, when I get ready and I CP for 3 or 4. Mostly we are in same genre, but not all. Thanks for co-hosting. Wishing you much success.
    Happy New Year,
    Juneta @ Writer’s Gambit

    • Michelle Wallace on January 11, 2016 at 3:51 pm

      I’s also prefer having a few lined up, just in case one CP can’t make the commitment at the last moment…it’s a safety measure. 🙂

  32. Lynn on January 6, 2016 at 9:32 pm

    I laughed out loud when I read your comment to my goals. Thank you. Your energy bounces off your Website. I’m such a beginner don’t feel qualified to be a CP. I do have two coaches. One is Joylene (an IWSG administrator) and she is a delight, so I know the value of CP. You’ll have the perfect CP soon!

    • Michelle Wallace on January 11, 2016 at 3:53 pm

      I’m not too qualified either…but we have to start somewhere, hey?
      Joylene is a honey! She’s agreed to work with me. How lucky am I? 🙂

  33. Nancy Gideon on January 6, 2016 at 10:43 pm

    Thanks for hosting, Michelle. I have 7 fantastic critique partners that I don’t know what I’d do without. We’ve been together almost 20 years (I KNOW!) and have evolved as writers and friends and survived to tell stories. I let several other BETA read my books but my anchor is my core group. Hope you get as lucky!

    • Michelle Wallace on January 11, 2016 at 3:59 pm

      Some writers warn against too many CPs, they suggest about 3 or 4, the most. But if 7 works for you…?? Then it IS possible…
      Maybe you are the exception? Nevertheless, it’s a 20 year friendship! Amazing.

  34. Gail M Baugniet on January 6, 2016 at 10:43 pm

    Thank you for co-hosting this month’s IWSG. My critique groups include local author meetings, SinC/Guppies manuscript swaps, Critique Circle, and beta readers. Sometimes, I wonder if I should cut back because advice conflicts at times and I end up more confused than enlightened.
    Best wishes for a terrific 2016. Hau’oli Makahiki Hou!

    • Michelle Wallace on January 11, 2016 at 4:01 pm

      Hey, I say the more , the merrier.
      At the end of the day, you have the final decision. But at least you’ve explored a variety of options… 🙂

  35. Patsy on January 6, 2016 at 11:32 pm

    Happy new year!

  36. dolorah on January 7, 2016 at 12:23 am

    I’ve been part of both online and in-person groups. I find that w hen you stay with a particular group a long time you build great writing relationships, but also people get to “know” you and expect certain writer concepts/opinions from you. For me, like everything, there is good and not so good. One of my best friends I’ve met through a writers group, and we have remained friends and CPs even after the group ended. Its good to have people you can just call on for a one time project – or brain storming ideas – and others you are comfortable with for the long term.

    As for having at least one person in the group that does not write in your genre, I think that’s a good idea, mostly. They can tire of reading outside their genre, but also make good reality checks, and copy editors. They are better at catching plot holes and inconsistencies since they are not reading to be entertained. Of course, the draw back is you will also have to read something outside your preferred genre.

    No right of wrong way to be a CP; just surround yourself with plenty of like minded/needy people 🙂 One thing I’ve learned about the blogs in this community, posts like this are what we are here for 🙂

    I’ve known you (virtually) for a while Michelle, and I’m part of an online group I think would fit well with your current needs. We’re a relaxed group, no stressful demands, and brainstorming is one of our favorite group activities. Email me if you want more details; but I’m willing to be short term CP for the current project also. I don’t write a lot (hoping to change this) so I’m willing to exchange future favors 🙂
    donnahole at gmail dot com

    • Michelle Wallace on January 11, 2016 at 4:17 pm

      I really need those eyes to catch plot holes and inconsistencies. I struggle with plot and pacing…
      Thanks for reaching out, Donna! 🙂

  37. Michael Di Gesu on January 7, 2016 at 12:31 am

    Hi, Michelle,

    Happy New Year!!!!

    Glad to see you’ve been BUSY writing away… CONGRATS…. I am SOOO proud of how far you’ve come with you’re writing. You should be, too!

    Wishing you all the best this year! I know you’ll be very successful in all your endeavors.

    • Michelle Wallace on January 11, 2016 at 4:33 pm

      Hey Mr. Blurb King!
      Hope you’re well? I haven’t chatted to you in a long time.
      I’ve been really trying to push the writing. It goes in fits and starts.
      Thank you for the warm words. They mean a lot to me…coming from a prolific writer like yourself… 🙂

  38. Diane Burton on January 7, 2016 at 1:11 am

    Thanks for co-hosting, Michelle. A good critique partner is a treasure. One who isn’t as serious as you are can drag you down. Best wishes finding that special one(s). Happy New Year!

    • Michelle Wallace on January 11, 2016 at 4:36 pm

      I have a few CP offers and they’re writers who I’ve gotten to know over time…they are really into their craft…so fingers crossed. 🙂

  39. Cathrina on January 7, 2016 at 1:11 am

    Happy New Year Michelle!!! Thank you for co-hosting! I did pay for a critique for a couple of my books, and a beta reader who also helped with edits. I sure could use the help too!! I wish you luck in getting someone who is honest and can take your book to the next level!!!

    • Michelle Wallace on January 11, 2016 at 4:39 pm

      Thanks Cathrina!
      I don’t mind paying an editor. The final product HAS to be totally professional and error-free (though the best editors miss mistakes)
      The budget is tight though… 🙂

  40. Tonja Drecker on January 7, 2016 at 1:53 am

    Happy New Year! If you need a pair of eyes, go ahead and poke me. I think we’re CPs with the IWSG group anyway. (or something like that.) tdrecker (at) gmail (dot) com. I have several constant CPs, and although most of them write the same genres as me, I have one romance author and one adult fantasy one. But it somehow works out well. My betas tend to fluctuate more, but I need more of those and hate overwhelming them (my CPs aren’t as lucky 😉 ). Thanks for co-hosting!

  41. Heather M. Gardner on January 7, 2016 at 1:57 am

    I have 2 ‘editors’ in my family and then I use 1 or 2 writers/authors I know when I can.
    I don’t like to use too many or I have to make too many decisions. 🙂

    Best of luck.

    Thank you for co-hosting!


    • Michelle Wallace on January 11, 2016 at 4:42 pm

      You are so fortunate to have editors within the family. It’s a savings, I’m sure. 🙂

  42. Donna K. Weaver on January 7, 2016 at 2:25 am

    Ah, critique partners. Some people love them. Some people hate them. I can’t live without mine.

    • Michelle Wallace on January 11, 2016 at 4:43 pm

      I’m trying to fathom why people would hate them? They help make the ms the best it can be!

  43. Cathy Keaton on January 7, 2016 at 2:49 am

    I need another critique partner once I’m finished with my current WIP, but I don’t know when that will be. Could be a few months from now, so I figure I’ll go on the hunt when I’m about finished. I’ve never had a CP who writes in a different genre, but I can’t see that it would hurt to have one in your back pocket. Could be very useful, I would think.

    Good luck in your search and Happy New Year!

    • Michelle Wallace on January 11, 2016 at 4:45 pm

      They say that a CP who writes in a different genre lends a fresh perspective to the story.
      Thank you, Cathy.

  44. Bev on January 7, 2016 at 3:11 am

    Having never had a CP or “brainstorming buddy” (though that sounds like a BRILLIANT idea) I will leave advice on those subjects to the other fine folks who have already commented. What I can say is this: you rock. Seriously- I feel like everywhere I look there’s a comment from you being such an uber awesome friendly that I can’t keep track of it. You talked about wanting my attitude to rub off on you- I think your rubbed off on me! Thanks!

    • Michelle Wallace on January 11, 2016 at 4:46 pm

      Bev that’s such a lovely comment!
      Thank you! 🙂

  45. Jen on January 7, 2016 at 3:21 pm

    Happy New Year, Michelle!!

    Honestly, I haven’t had a CP in YEARS!! I was a part of a writer’s group once but no one in the group wrote my genre and it was hard to really get them to understand what I was saying. I guess that really mirrors what everyone else has already said: the best CPs are those who “get” what you’re writing. That being said, however, I do like to have someone read my work who doesn’t write and who doesn’t read my genre. It’s nice to have one set of eyes who really have no clue what’s going on in the writer mind or the genre you write in. It can be very enlightening to have that person comment.

    Of course, right now, I’m in the process of trying to figure out just what genre I do write in! I have read many manuscripts in many different genres over the years, many for a lit journal at university and several for friends. If you need an extra pair of eyes, you can count on me! (jstantonchandler (at) gmail (dot) com)

    Best of luck to you this year in your writing and in everything! I look forward to seeing what this year holds in terms of writing and life in general!


    • Michelle Wallace on January 11, 2016 at 4:48 pm

      Thanks Jen!
      I’ll contact you soon and we’ll take it from there…

  46. Erika Beebe on January 7, 2016 at 3:34 pm

    I agree with Denise. My writing crit partner and I are both interested in the same genre. We talk about books we are reading as well as our works. I have grown so much since she and I have connected. Some advice can be the wrong advice and I wouldn’t want you to get discouraged by poor crit partner chemistry. But these are just my thoughts. I wish you the best and I hope you find a helpful crit partner/ beta reader. Erika

    • Michelle Wallace on January 11, 2016 at 7:16 pm

      Seems like you and your crit partner are a good fit! Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I appreciate them.

  47. Ula on January 7, 2016 at 6:58 pm

    Happy New Year!

    I have to agree with others on this. Your CP needs to “get” your writing. Otherwise the feedback you get may not be as helpful. Good luck.

    • Michelle Wallace on January 11, 2016 at 7:19 pm

      There are some offers from writers who have read my short fiction on a regular basis, so they know what they’re in for.

  48. Murees on January 7, 2016 at 7:37 pm

    Happy 2016, Michelle! Thank you for co-hosting! Wishing you lots of happiness and success! I no longer use critique partners. But when using critique partners, I would say find people that you work well with. You have to find a good fit. I had critique partners from various genres and their comments were all helpful. They looked at the story in different ways. All the best.

    • Michelle Wallace on January 11, 2016 at 7:21 pm

      Thanks for the advice, Murees! 🙂
      I’m just curious as to why you no longer use crit partners?

  49. Robyn Campbell on January 7, 2016 at 8:30 pm

    I’m always here when you need me, buddy. Never forget that. I’ve been down in the dumps. Love you.

    • Michelle Wallace on January 11, 2016 at 7:24 pm

      Sorry to hear you’ve been feeling down and out, Robyn.
      Hang in there, buddy.
      Love you too. <3

  50. Nick Wilford on January 7, 2016 at 10:31 pm

    I’ve had a great bunch of CPs for a few years now. An eclectic bunch in terms of genres too. It feels like a great working relationship so I’ll stick with ’em. If you can get a few with different perspectives then that’s gold.

    • Michelle Wallace on January 11, 2016 at 7:31 pm

      An eclectic bunch with differing perspectives is definitely like striking gold!

  51. Tess Julia on January 7, 2016 at 10:57 pm

    You have been amazing and supportive of me for so long now, I’d love to return the favor. If you’d like me to look at anything- please shoot me an email. I have no expert opinions other than being an avid reader though, so I don’t know how qualified of a CP you’re looking for 🙂

    • Michelle Wallace on January 11, 2016 at 7:35 pm

      Hey Tess!
      Sometimes I just need eyes on a piece to know if it works for you as a reader. Every little bit helps. Will let you know. 🙂

  52. Patricia Lynne on January 7, 2016 at 11:34 pm

    How many CPs I’ve had for stories vary and they change. Usually because the CPs might not always be able to commit or our relationship drifts apart.

    • Michelle Wallace on January 11, 2016 at 7:52 pm

      I’ve realised that mutual understanding and commitment to the cause plays a great role in the success of CP hook ups.

  53. Lynda R Young on January 8, 2016 at 12:18 am

    Good luck with finding a good match with the CPs. I have two great main ones, but it took a long while to find them.

    • Michelle Wallace on January 11, 2016 at 7:54 pm

      There have been quite a few offers, so something positive will come from this. I’m sure.

  54. WriterlySam on January 8, 2016 at 3:48 am

    Cheers to a New Year of storytelling adventures!
    Brainstorming is what I eat for breakfast *with sufficient coffee, of course* Hit me up anytime you need a creative session!! I write mainly YA, so my first readers are a group of sharp teens that I mentor *my target audience*, and I’ve a crit partner that writes contemporary adult, which helps ground me, haha.

    • Michelle Wallace on January 11, 2016 at 7:57 pm

      LOL Sam!
      I know you’re a busy bee, so I’ll make an appointment for some creative “brain picking” sessions! Thanks! 🙂

  55. J.Q. Rose on January 8, 2016 at 7:25 pm

    Hi Michelle. I’ve had a lot of fun co-hosting this month. Thanks to you for doing it too. I am very fortunate to have been invited to join a crit group of 4 other writers. When I started with them in 2011, none of us were published. Now in 2016 we are all multi-published! Amazing. We all write different genres and styles and it works to get feedback from each one of them. We meet at a coffee shop once a week. Brainstorming with this group is phenomenol! I wonder what the patrons must think when we are planning how to kill off a character or discover a deadly virus to infect the world. LOL…I could also call them a support group since we all have our ups and downs in the writing industry. Best wishes for finding a CP or two or three to crit your work. How exciting you are ready to offer up your writing for others’ eyes. Wishing you joy and peace and love in the New Year 2016!

    • Michelle Wallace on January 11, 2016 at 7:59 pm

      A cosy-weekly-coffee-shop-meeting type group – I’d LOVE that! Maybe one day I’ll find that group…

  56. ali cross on January 9, 2016 at 5:23 am

    Hey Michelle! Thanks for visiting my blog and for hosting this month!

    I have three regular CPs. We meet in person every two weeks, and have for almost six years. We write across genres, and it’s wonderful. We all have something different to bring to the table.

    I also have a few online friends who have been my critique partners from time to time. That’s nice, to switch things up and all, but I do really love and trust my long-time CPs!

    • Michelle Wallace on January 11, 2016 at 8:00 pm

      Sounds like your CPs are gems. You’re fortunate. 🙂

  57. Nicohle Christopherson on January 10, 2016 at 1:35 am

    To answer your questions, I don’t actually have any critique partners. I used to have a ‘brainstorm buddy’, in the form of an ex boyfriend. Having him around made my work flow so much faster than what I’m doing now. I really need to cultivate a good one that has the same schedule as me.

    • Michelle Wallace on January 11, 2016 at 8:03 pm

      He obviously had lots of ideas. Sounds like the chemistry was spot on.

  58. Madilyn Quinn on January 10, 2016 at 11:19 pm

    Thanks for co-hosting! It sounds like such a tough job!

    Mm.. you know, I’ve never had a critique partner or beta reader. I need to find one or two though as I have something done that needs another pair of eyes. I keep reading it over and it’s starting to get sour for me. Like, I want to rewrite it for a third time and I really can’t do it again. :/

    I’d always heard to stick to folks that read/write the same sort of stuff you’re writing just because they’ll know what works and doesn’t for that genre. If you write romance, someone that typically reads horror isn’t going to give advice that would necessarily be helpful. ‘Add some stabbing here’ or something haha

    • Michelle Wallace on January 11, 2016 at 8:08 pm

      Co-hosting isn’t really tough. Just requires you to put some time aside to perform the duties of checking a stipulated number of blogs on the linky list.
      You need to eventually get CPs/betas because you become too close to your story. A CP provides a fresh perspective. And objectivity.

  59. Nilanjana Bose on January 12, 2016 at 7:35 pm

    Hi Michelle, and a very happy 2016! I hope you find the CP’s you are looking for. How very exciting that your work is ready for other pairs of eyes! All the best.

    • Michelle Wallace on January 13, 2016 at 4:30 pm

      Thanks Nila! 🙂
      I have to get some eyes on my work. I need some direction.

  60. Southpaw HR Sinclair on January 13, 2016 at 2:22 pm

    I think the reason a CP/beta out of your genre is good is that they don’t know all the standards that “we” do and may gloss over. They can point that out.

    • Michelle Wallace on January 13, 2016 at 4:31 pm

      Yep. Exactly.
      It’s a fresh perspective, for sure.

  61. Mary Pax on January 13, 2016 at 8:38 pm

    I’ve had the same critique partners for some time. I also pay my editor for content editing. Sometimes my crit partners and I curse each other. But if we chill and step back, sometimes we see our cp was right. Sometimes they’re not right. How do I decide? Audience. Keep that in mind. 🙂

  62. Shannon Lawrence on January 14, 2016 at 7:53 am

    Good luck finding CPs! I’ve got my hands full with two different critique groups right now. Happily, in both groups most of the CPs write in different genres than me. I keep the same critique folks, but I’ll be needing to figure out more beta readers when the time comes, I think. I only have one who actually gave me feedback.

    • Michelle Wallace on January 16, 2016 at 6:49 pm

      When it comes to CPs, sounds like you’re well organized, Shannon. 🙂

  63. Jeffrey Scott on January 14, 2016 at 8:33 pm

    I’ve been rewriting a YA short story series I originally wrote about 30 years ago. Back then, I had a few friends that read it and told me it was great. But since then, I have not really had a CP. I’ve suggested it to a few of my current friends, but no one seems well inclined.

    • Michelle Wallace on January 16, 2016 at 6:52 pm

      I’ve learned that CPs are a must! Writers get too close to the story, and the CPs provide objectivity.
      Thanks for the visit, Jeffrey! 🙂

  64. Shell Flower on January 16, 2016 at 12:10 am

    Sounds like you write contemporary fiction, which is totally fine. It’s okay to not have “other-worldly” beings in your stories. My writing group is a speculative fiction group, which isn’t really my thing, I’m realizing, though I love those guys and I’m staying in the group. Some of them write contemporary fiction, too, so it all works out. My twin sister is my first beta-reader usually, though she isn’t a writer, so I wouldn’t say she’s really a critique partner. Otherwise, I just go with whoever is willing to read my work. Looks like you’ve found some help. Yay. Happy 2016!

    • Michelle Wallace on January 16, 2016 at 6:56 pm

      I’ve had lots of offers so I’m on my way!
      Having a twin sister to bounce ideas off – that sounds perfect. You’re fortunate.
      …and they say that twins have a special connection, and are “tuned in” to one another, so I’m sure that really helps too…
      Thanks Shell!

  65. Elise Fallson on January 18, 2016 at 8:43 am

    Holy comment box! It’s almost as long as Alex’s! Anyway, you got lots of great advice and offers up there that I’m sure will be a tremendous help. I wish I could lend you a second pair of eyes, but I’m swamped and beta reading a full length novel for another blogger buddy. But things should clear up for me in the following months so let me know if you need anything then. Ubuntu Hugs my friend and a Happy and productive New Year!!! 🙂

  66. Medeia Sharif on January 21, 2016 at 4:53 am

    I go to a monthly critique group and out of that group I have 3 who’ll beta read for me. We all write for young people since our group is for children, MG, and YA writers.

  67. J.H. Moncrieff on January 25, 2016 at 4:14 am

    Sadly, I’ve struggled to find a good CP. The last one I tried said absolutely nothing critical, which didn’t help.

    I’m a professional editor, so I get more than my fill of critiquing manuscripts through my day job. I’ve also been discouraged from doing it for free, because a lot of people don’t actually want a critique – they want praise, and praise alone. Unfortunately, many of the manuscripts that come my way need a lot of work, so if I’m going to spend hours and hours on something, if the writer is paying that at least means he or she is honestly committed to making their work better. 🙂

    Good luck! I hope I find one too, but I’ll probably end up hiring an editor.

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