Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Meet The Person I Trust To Tell Me My Writing Sucks!

I have put down 62,000 craptastic words on paper. The plot is...how shall we say this...fluid, the ending needs to be tightened, and the concept may not even be workable. Do I scrap the whole book? Do I melt down in an I-will-never-write-a-book-as-good-as-my-first-one fit? Do I call my agent and beg her to talk me off the ledge? Nope. I do what I always do; I fire my rather disobedient WIP off to a few talented authors friends who have stuck by me since day one!

My Critique Partners are my first line of defense, an invaluable resource who make me push harder and dig deeper then I ever thought possible. They question my mc's motivations, point out subtle inconsistencies, and have the guts to tell me when something plain old sucks. I am a better writer...a better person because of them.

And I can't wait to introduce to the this one. She holds the unlucky title of being the only one of my CP's to have read everything, EVERYTHING, I have ever written!  

World...meet Mary Waibel

Thanks so much for letting me visit today and talk about Critique Partners.

Trisha and I met on-line several years ago when I was looking for feedback on a short story I'd written for a contest. Since then, she's read everything I've written, and her advice has been invaluable to my growth as a writer.

When we first began exchanging work, Trisha's writing was at a higher level than mine. As I read her pieces, it seemed to me I was learning more about writing than I was giving her feedback. And it was then I realized being a critique partner is a two way street. You're imparting your knowledge and world view on the work you read, and at the same time learning your partner's knowledge and world view. And the results can be magical.

I always say Critique Partners are worth their weight in gold, and I believe it. Every time I exchange work, I learn something new (usually a new vice I've picked up to replace my obsession with the word that :-) ). From over used words, to varying sentence structure, or character development, every partner has their own wealth of knowledge to bring to the table. Even a new writer.

Yes, just because you're new to the world of writing doesn't mean you can't critique for a more experienced writer. In fact, I think everyone should have at least one partner who writes at a higher level, just to make you work harder to get to the next stage of your writing.

Many people believe writing to be solitary, but with Critique Partners, it doesn't have to be. So, how do you get these wonderful gems? Join on-line writing groups. Join a local writer's group. Search on your favorite social media sites. As I mentioned above, if you're a new writer, try to find another person who's been writing a little longer than you to exchange work with so you can help your craft grow. If your an experienced writer, consider working with a newbie to share the things you've learned along the way. It's a wonderful way to repay the generosity of those who took us under their wings.

Cover by CK Volnek
 The Mystery Prince, a novella

Book Blurb:
Tristan enjoys being in the shadows as Prince Rand's bodyguard. Similar in looks, the two often exchanged places in their youth, but he never expected the king to order him to impersonate the heir to the throne in order to win the hand of a princess.

Princess Zoe needs to find a husband. After a year of searching with no success, her father insists on hosting a masquerade ball for the eligible princes of the nine kingdoms. Not one prince piques her interest, until she meets the mysterious stranger who won't tell her his name.

When Tristan meets Zoe he finds the girl of his dreams. The only problem? She's a princess and he's impersonating a prince―a crime punishable by imprisonment and floggings. Unable to tell Zoe his real name, he gives her a special navigation device. One that leads to the owner's true love. Will this magic device lead Zoe to Tristan, or will her true love forever remain a mystery prince?

Author Bio:
Mary lives with her husband, son and two cats. When she isn't twisting fairytales, she enjoys reading, playing games, watching hockey, and camping. Her Princess of Valendria series (Quest of the Hart, Charmed Memories, Different Kind of Knight) are available from MuseItUp Publishing and other major retailers.  Her novella, The Mystery Prince, is available at Amazon. Her Faery Marked (book 1 in the Faery Series) will be available from BookFishBooks this summer.

You can find Mary Waibel at:


  1. Thanks for such an amazing intro and for letting me snag your blog for the day. Confession: I always look forward to e-mails from Trisha asking me to read for her. Her stuff is just that AWESOME, even in it's raw forms.

    1. Awesome is a fluid term :) <3 you and your writing to bits!

  2. HI, Trish. Hi, Mary...

    You are SO RIGHT about CP's, Mary. They are worth their weight in GOLD! I have learned so much from mine and have improved TEN FOLD because of their help and now I pay it forward whenever I can. I am currently editing for CP now... A memoir, which has some amazing writing but also needs work. AH, the joys of the rewrite. BOY I don't envy him. Been there, done that... LOL.

    1. LOL! Yes, but sometimes the re-write can be the best thing.

    2. Two points for paying ti forward! I have a saying...we writer just SO we can edit! Rewriting is key and the keen eye of a CP is crucial for that.

  3. That's so sweet! I'd be nowhere without my collection of CPs, too. And I know Mary! She's a sister author at MuseItUp. I hope you both have a great week! :)

    1. Hi Lexa!!! Thanks for stopping by. Hope you have a great week, too!!

  4. Mary,

    You know how I feel about critique partners - since you are one of mine. It blows me away each time I get feedback from my cp's. The time and knowledge they've invested in my work can ONLY be paid back by investing in theirs. Well, cookies are good, too. And wine. But can't send those via email!

    Wonderful advice.

    1. Virtual cookies and wine are always accepted. And, yes, it is amazing what those CP's see in our writing :-)

    2. Yes, Kai...cookies are always good :)

  5. I feel privileged to have such an amazing CP who I met in much the same way. My stories wouldn't be half as good without her.