Friday, January 20, 2012

Bloggerview - On a fab critter!

I got through my 3rd round of edits because of a wonderful beta reader. She was positive, truthful, and so fast! At the time, she didn't need a crit back, so I offered her an interview. I think many of you know her, it's


She was overwhelmed =) Angie, you crack me up!
Here is our little interview and some great critiquing advice!

How long have you been writing and what started you?

I’ve been writing about five years, but I’ve been really serious about it for three. Reading is my passion and writing became a natural extension of that.

What are you currently working on?

I’m making a few last minute edits to the YA book I’ve been querying. I’m working on the second book in that planned YA trilogy. And just for fun plotting out a Chick Lit MS narrated by Fate—that one has been bouncing around in my head for a while.

Where do you get all the great tips for your posts on your shared blog—Live to Write…Edit when Necessary?

Oh, I’m glad you think my tips are great—that makes me smile. Learning how to be a better writer has been a process for me. If I learn something that helps me, I want to share it. So most of my posts come from there.

I can relate so closely to your responses, no wonder we click!

And now, Angie will do a mini-guest post and elaborate on how to be an awesome critiquer—since she IS!

I don’t know about that Tara—you are too sweet.  I have great critique partners and beta readers. Everything I have learned about being a good critiquer comes from them. Learning to critique is something that has made me a much better writer, because I’ve learned to look at my stories with a critical eye.

So I thought of an acronym that helps me remember how to critique. T.A.C.T.—fitting don’t you think :)

T—Thoughts. When I get a critique back I LOVE to know what people are thinking as they read. I always leave comments so the author knows what I’m thinking at that exact spot in their book. It can be invaluable to know what readers perceive as they are reading along in your story. That way you know if you’ve accomplished your intent or not.

A—Amazing. No book is ever all bad. Even authors that struggle with certain story elements have amazing aspects to their books. Find those amazing parts and point them it out. Every time you feel that little spark of enjoyment tell the author.

C—Constructive. It means to build up and make better. I think that is the whole point of a critique. I try and look at the style of the book, what the author is trying to say, what they want. I want to help make their book the best it can be.

T—Truth. Always tell the truth. People appreciate honest input. It is a waste of your time and their time if you sugar coat their critique. But that being said—there is always a kind way to tell them they need to work on something.

I’ve been doing more edits on my completed MS and I started to notice something. I thought, “This is the spot Emily helped me with. I added this scene because of Sara. Jolene really helped me flesh out this character. Cassie was right. I should cut this.” I could go on and on. What I noticed is that my book is a collaboration of lots of great critiques!

Thanks for having me Tara :) I had so much fun!

My pleasure, Angie! That is wonderful advice. I'll be trying it out next month! And don't you and Cassie have a blogfest coming up Feb 6-10? Tell us more!

Cassie and I are cohosting a character blogfest. It is going to be SO MUCH FUN! And one of the prizes is a full critique from Cassie and me, and can I just tell you what a great critiquer Cassie is!
Thanks again, Angie. Wishing you good vibes on publishing your YA trilogy!

I can't tell you all enough how valuable a good critter is. Make sure you have your MS read by as many as you can! Have a great weekend!


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I like the 'thinking' angle. And it's amazing how critiquing another's work makes us better as well.
Tara, glad you are blessed with an awesome critique partner!

Angela Cothran said...

Tara, thanks again for having me. I has so much fun :)

Chantele Sedgwick said...

Yay! I love Angie! She's awesome! Great interview. :)

Laura Josephsen said...

Awesome advice! Having great critiquers is the best thing ever. I'm with Angie--there are parts of my books that I can say, "This is this way because of so-and-so's advice."

Cassie Mae said...

Angie I love you! And all this advice is awesome! She's helped my ms so so so much! (And no, I don't really shout everything I say, lol)

Jenny S. Morris said...

Oh, this is so great. Cassie is the one that showed me that making comments when you think them really helps. And it can make the persons day too. I'll have to remember this little acronym. And I feel the same way about all the different parts of my book. Each thing is a little contribution form someone.

Thanks ladies, this was awesome.

Deana said...

What a great way to go about being a critter:) Angie is about to beta for me and I am super excited!
Thanks for the interview Tara and good luck on your edits!

Weaver said...

Good list. I especially appreciate thoughts. My son-in-law shared with me this weekend an area that had caused him a little heartburn in my story. Easy fix but not one I'd have thought to make if he'd not raised the issue. None of my book's other readers had brought it up. But if he had problems with it, others would too.

Carrie Butler said...

Great interview, ladies! I love the T.A.C.T. thing! :)

Jessie Humphries said...

Here, here for T.A.C.T! I love the commenting on reactions part. I don't know if I do that. But I will now!

Theresa Milstein said...

Hi, Tara. Hi, Angie. I'm going to keep the ACT in mind.

Theresa Milstein said...

Sorry. TACT.

Nas said...

Great interview! Thanks for sharing!

Tara Tyler said...

Angie is pretty awesome. and that pic! she's so fun!
i will be using TACT too =)

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