I have to say that the best writing advice I ever got was to find a supportive group of writers to help on the journey. The corollary to this advice was to find a critique group. I got very lucky…my groups are one and the same.
My critique group has changed shapes a few times over the years. It started with three women—one a romance writer, one who wrote adult mystery, and one who wrote literary fiction. Throw in me with genre YA and we were certainly a motley crew. But we made beautiful fiction together!
Our literary writer left for another state and in her place came a woman who writes adult suspense. We’ve also managed to draw in a man who writes literary fiction. There’ve been times when we nearly disbanded (like when one of our members moved for a bit, only to return after a year or so). Recently I’ve taken a full-time job so I almost never make the meetings, but when I can my group is kind enough to bend their schedule in all directions to fit mine.
A typical meeting looks like this: Meet at the local coffee shop, talk and laugh and laugh some more. Then everyone pulls out a few pages or a chapter and we pass them around the circle. Everybody uses a different colored ink pen and we comment on everything from plot to characterization to word choice.
Here’s the part that’s really important: Everyone is supportive. I’ve heard horror stories of other groups that make their members cry or give only negative criticism. My group is unfailingly kind and their criticism is constructive, not the kind that tears an author down.
Here’s the proof that our group works: Every one of us but one is published, including traditional small presses and newspapers. The one who has not published yet is still finalizing his manuscript.
About Hunter’s Moon
by Tess Grant
Publisher: Books We Love Ltd.
Publication Date: January 17th 2017
Genre: YA Paranormal
Kitty Irish has heard all the rumors swirling around Daniel Phinney. Most of them involve a gun, a flask, and a temper. One chance encounter with the WWII veteran over a grisly find in the woods pulls the cover off the dark secrets of their small town, and Kitty is drawn into an unlikely partnership.
Armed with an antique rifle and a handful of homemade silver bullets, the two form an efficient team. Unfortunately, their game is werewolf hunting, and disaster is only a bite away.
About the Author
After nearly ten years as a forensic anthropologist, Tess Grant semi-retired to a farmette in the backwoods of Michigan. She lives at the edge of the Manistee National Forest with her husband, children, and a number of strange critters, none of whom are werewolves.