Thursday, December 5, 2013

Now Accepting Applications for Critique Partners (St. Louis-area priority)


OK, just joking about the applications part. There’s no application, but I do really wish I had more writer friends to swap criticism with.

I dream of finding that perfect friend who also takes writing as seriously as I do, and who provides fantastic feedback (and wants feedback in return). So, just for fun, I think I’m going to put this into words. What would my perfect crit partner be like?

Rosy cheeks, no warts. Play games, all sorts.

OK, srsly. A good sense of humor. Someone I can be friends with irl.

The ability to take criticism is fundamental, as is the ability to provide it. If you tear up at the mention of a misplaced comma, then this application is not for you. I have an iron gut for criticism, and I don’t like being buttered up as much as given an honest review. I believe all criticism is useful, no matter how fierce or nerve-touching (although, I don’t consider myself to be a harsh critic, I love it when others are harsh critics to me). Even if I disagree with you, I will still respect your opinion of my work and will consider it genuinely. Often times, it seems like if I let particularly harsh criticism sit with me overnight, I come out seeing it from a different perspective.

That said, it’s also important that crit partners generally enjoy each other’s writing (and are near each other in skill level, so I don’t get jealous if you’re better than me or vice versa). I suppose that would come on a read-for-read basis. If you happen to read this and want to trade examples of writing, email me (oxyborb@gmail.com). We can swap chapter 1s, and then either say “yes” and continue or “No, we’re not a match” with no hard feelings. I generally write fantasy and horror for young adults, and that’s also what I generally read.

My perfect critique partner would be working on a longer, novel-length project. I generally write novels, so I would feel bad asking for advice on something longer if you’ve only given me a piece of flash-fiction.

I would love it if my crit partner lived in the St. Louis-area. I live in Belleville, IL, which is across the river (but I could still drive out to STL). I would prefer someone that I could actually meet and chat with at a café than a faceless person over the Internet.

My perfect crit partner would produce a great deal of content, regularly. I write heaps of stuff, so it’d be nice to find someone who throws just as much stuff back at me. I often feel like I ask too much of people, because nobody else is as crazy about writing as I am. It’d be cool to find someone who shares my compulsion for constantly working on new projects.

Also, my novel, The Unraveler, is a teen fantasy. You can read about it by clicking here, but I'll just say that my style is aiming to be somewhere between Stephen King and JK Rowling, not that I'm comparing myself to them, but that's the kind of feel I am working toward. Something creepy, yet with light-hearted, goofy moments. For teens. I love horror, disturbing, scary moments, but I also love the feeling of exploration you get from first setting foot into Hogwarts. Get it ? The Unraveler aims to be like that, with a touch of Lord of the Rings, A Song of Ice and Fire, and a little Pirates of the Caribbean, too. If all those books were blended, it would be The Unraveler.

That’s what I’m looking for. If you seem to fit any of that, you should leave a comment or email me.