Critiquing and the Critique Partners with Kinley Baker
First off, tell us a little about yourself.
BIO: Kinley Baker read her first romance novel at the age of thirteen and immediately fell in love with the hero and the genre. She is the author of the Reign of Shadows trilogy. The first book, Ruined, will release soon from Crescent Moon Press. She lives with her husband and her dog, Joker, in the Pacific Northwest. As a firm supporter of all supernatural lifestyles, she writes fantasy romance, paranormal romance, and urban fantasy. You can find Kinley at www.kinleybaker.com.
What are your thoughts on online critique groups’ verses meeting in person?
I’ve never had the luxury of meeting in person for a critique group. But I’ve had great experiences on-line the past few years. I think sometimes your ideal critique partner just isn’t in the same state or country. Finding the right fit is the most important part of any critique relationship.
What is your ideal critique group? How many is too many?
Right now, I have a critique group of four, and it’s a great fit. We send in chapters through a private yahoo loop when we need help. We all got busy at about the same time, so it’s definitely hectic managing contracts and trying to get submissions in, but the group is awesome and supportive. I don’t think you can ask for much more in a group, except perceptive editing, but my group is full of that, too!
How often do you feel it’s necessary to meet (e-mail) you’re critique partner(s)?
We generally send in two chapters at a time. Sometimes, someone is on deadline and can’t respond, but there are still two other people to read, so it works out well. I think it depends where you are in your writing journey. The critique partner I’ve had the longest, I’ve been working with for over a year, and when we first started working together, our critiques were returned slashed with red. Once we learned more about the craft, critiques weren’t quite as extensive and we didn’t need to e-mail as often.
What advice would you give someone just starting out in regards to critique groups and the critique concept?
Learn about craft. Find the right fit for a group. Form a tough skin but don’t tolerate rudeness. Yes, people should be honest about your work, but if they make you cry every time you read their critique, the partnership or group probably isn’t the best fit.
My advice would be to create your own group with people who are at the same stage. On-line loops like the ones associated with Romance Writers of America really helped form my current group. I’d recommend trading the first chapter of a manuscript to see if everyone is on the same page. It’s not easy to find a group that works, but that which doesn’t kill us makes us stronger J I’m a better writer for all those critique horror stories I’ve acquired. I won’t share them, but some are painful, some are motivating and some are funny. I think the experiences are all just a part of the writer journey. If you find a critique partner or group who understands you and your writing, be nice to them! Without my critique partners to put things into perspective sometimes, I’d be a less productive writer. Thanks CPs!
To purchace her book, Ruined, click on the link below.