Critique Partners

A collective post from some of my wonderful CPs and me full of rambles and words of critique partnering advice!

Akshaya Raman

Hello!

Last week I was at RT with a bunch of my closest writer friends and we had an absolute blast! Because we’re all so spread out geographically, we only get to hang out once or twice a year so we really try and make those few days count. And because a bunch of us were together, I thought I’d take the opportunity to answer some questions I get frequently about my critique partners—and have them chime in with some thoughts as well!! They were all so generous with their time despite a packed schedule at RT, and I’m so grateful that they were all willing to share their thoughts!

Fair warning: this is a LONG post. But hopefully it’s a fun read/cool to see the insides of our very weird brains. Or I should say, coherent versions of our brains. In person we make a lot of very lame jokes…

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New England Colors and Boston Teen Author Festival

Hello from the beautiful woods of New England in the fall!
Hello from the beautiful woods of New England in the fall!

Life: This will be a quick update, as I am writing this blog in the midst of my last evening in Boston. The night promises to be full of Pirates (At World’s End), a last supper of cheese and guac with my wonderful critique partners, Akshaya and Janella, and (mostly) trying to make my huge suitcase of books be under 50 lbs :D. Oops. A longer update will come next week, but for now, a few pictures and quick highlights!!

Cheese and Disney princess cups, because what else would we be having?
Cheese and Disney princess glasses, because what else would we have?

Reading: Finished one AMAZING book last week – Snow Like Ashes, by Sara Raasch. Such an intensely captivating, original YA fantasy, centered on a girl and the group of fellow refugees she lives with, as they try to work towards reclaiming Winter, one of the four “season” kingdoms of the world.

SO GOOD
SO GOOD

Also read it just in time, because at Boston Teen Author Festival this weekend (which was SO MUCH FUN!!) I acquired an early copy of Ice Like Fire (book 2 in the trilogy) and I cannot wait to dive into it tomorrow on the plan (if I’m not crashing, in which case, as soon as I’m home). Either way, i will report on it soon here :-).

The critique partners and I, tromping around Boston on our way back from authory events and things!
Janella, Akshaya and I, tromping around Boston on our way back from authory events

Writing: So while my writing week was a bit speckled with travel and events and critique partner time, we actually all managed to carve out a fair amount of writing time – particularly on our mini-retreat these past two days int the woodsy areas of New England!

Writing in idyllic New England <3
Writing in pure bliss

Did a good deal of overall plot work, world-building and brainstorming for the new version of my WIP. This rewrite is completely daunting and still needs so much work, but it was great to get a solid start on it. Sorry to delay my thoughts on world-building, but I guarantee I will still be doing it for at least the next few days, so I will share some of my strategies next week.

Hard at work in the woods
Hard at work in the woods(ish)

Be well everyone, and enjoy these first few weeks of fall!!! Any fall plans, apple picking, haunted houses, etc, for anyone??

❤ Maddy

And one last shot of this glorious place!!
One last shot of this glorious place!!! Happy almost October!

Week of May 11 – RT Booklovers Convention!

Life: Hello again blog world! After a crazy few weeks of travel, I am almost on my way back to Chicago – for the foreseeable future!! I know, I know, weird thing to be excited about, but truly, although the travels of the last month (two? eek) have been incredible… I am so ready to be home for a while. Things on the homebody’s horizon – revisions, organizing beautiful RT books on bookshelves, revisions, eating normal meals again, revisions, reading said fab RT books… did I mention revisions? On that note – 

Writing: Has been happening slowly. I think I’ve mentioned before that the revisions process is my arch-nemesis. The same is still true :0. However, I have to say that some of my slowness of revisions over the last two months mayyy have had something to do with the near incessant travel I piled onto my life this spring. But… on the moving forward in the writing process side of things… the RT Booklovers Convention (a huge readers and writers con with lots of authors, workshops, book pitching opportunities and general ridiculousness) was AMAZING. I cannot begin to say enough about the crazy helpful advice from writing panels, the sheer kindness of the authors, or how wonderful it was to finally hang out in person with my fabulous critique partners. So let me just say here – thank you Dallas, thank you RT, thank you everyone we met there… and Janella & Akshaya, we have sooo many skype CP dates in our future because I  about to miss you like crazy!

Reading: On the RT topic – just books on books on books. I think I am coming home with… 50? Maybe more? And around 300 free ebooks. So… yeah. And a lot of them signed! So if you don’t here from me for a while, I might be in a book cave. Oops. And in the last month… I’ve read a whole lot of J.R. Ward (still amazing) and a couple of other books but not sure I’ve finished any of them. Be on the lookout for a whole lot of new things in the next few weeks though. My book pile is now more than waist high. But actually.  And until next time… happy almost summer!!!! 😘

   

 

Writing and Adultness

“I’ve come to the conclusion that being an adult is not for me”

– My wonderful critique partner, Akshaya! 🙂 /story of my life.

Akshaya Raman

I was thirteen years old when I first decided I wanted to be a writer.

A girl I knew then—who is now one of my best friends—introduced me to the world of fanfiction, and I have no shame in admitting that some of the first things I wrote were indeed fanfiction. Harry Potter fanfiction to be specific. And if you know me at all, you’ll find that utterly unsurprising.

However, since that moment I decided I wanted to be a writer, something changed: I was told I had to become an adult. I had to do adult things like get good grades and go to college. Other adults—and peers who were aspiring adults—told me that I had to think about the future, pick a major that would guarantee me a job after graduation, make a lot of money to support the family that I would no doubt have one day…

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