– Fellow Triberr mate, JW Manus was kind enough to put up a little blurb about my short The Golden Parachute at her other blog, Must Love Fiction. For the blurb (along with several other good ideas for short stories to read), click here.
Jaye also gave me some advice in regards to redesigning my cover for this particular story, which I believe she said originally made her think it was going to be a story about pirates. This was something of a concern myself, so once I heard it from her, I made the changes. What do you think?
– Also, I’m dipping my toes into the waters of freelance writing, and I recently posted an article over at Suite 101 entitled “Creating a Good Bad Guy, Pt 1: Why do we often like the villain?” If you get the time, I hope you stop by. Just click here.
What does the future hold?
Next Friday, I’m excited to announce that I’ll be entrenched in the World Horror Convention in Salt Lake City, and honestly, I’m not sure what I’m going to be posting. You’ll just have to check back and see.
But without further ado…
I’m pretty sure I met Rainy Kaye at Book Blogs. I enjoy her snarkiness (even though I really don’t like the word “snarky” it does a good job conveying a meaning). She has a blog (www.rainyofthedark.com) where she focuses on a variety of things about the craft of writing, from tips and interviews to publishing and promoting.
She also put together a great little collection of book covers (including The Imaginings) into a series of YouTube videos entitled “100 Worlds Book Covers.” Here is the one that includes The Imaginings in case you didn’t see it when I posted it previously:
This week I’m pleased to have Rainy doing a guest post on the interesting topic of writing buddies. I’ve also discussed this a little with JW Manus. It’s a fascinating topic but one that I believe could be perilous if handled incorrectly, and Rainy has offered up her advice on how to make this a successful relationship.
So NOW without further ado…
“Five Tips for Writing Buddies”
A writing buddy is someone who helps in the polishing of a manuscript. This is not the same as co-authoring, because each writing buddy has their own manuscript for which they are solely responsible. Writing buddies should be looked at like a “steady critique partner”, but one who sits through many, or all, revisions and edits until the manuscript is complete.
There are many advantages to having a writing buddy, from not having to continually search for a new critique to having someone who understands the story well enough to bounce around ideas. However, having a mutual understanding before getting started is important for a successful writing relationship.
First, pick someone you can handle working with and being around. Note I didn’t say pick someone who can be a friend. While writing buddies often are friends, or become friends, that is not necessarily the most important part. If anything, being friends beforehand can hinder the ability to be honest. On the flip side, you should be able to trust the person. But just as important, you need to look forward to speaking with them.
Set ground rules right away about honesty. Constructive criticism is the entire point of having a writing buddy, but it’s okay not to be comfortable with that right away. Let your buddy know where you stand on critiquing. Maybe you’ve never been critiqued before, so you might not take humorous digs all that well. Then again, you might be past the point of being sensitive about your work and really want someone to go all out on it, and if they can make it funny, more power to them. Just be honest.
Discuss style. It’s important for buddies to know the difference between a style preference and an actual problem. They might need to discuss the semantics of certain words and even tear apart grammar rules. Remember, you’re both learning, and it’s okay to respectfully challenge.
Don’t be afraid to give positive. There’s no room for jealousy in a writing relationship. If your buddy wrote something amazing, simply tell them so. It’s just as useful to know what works as what doesn’t, and it’s nice not to be always negative. Sometimes, tell them they rock.
Understand expectations in volume. Some people have time only to critique a few pages a week and others can do a chapter a day. Make sure you and your writing buddy understand how much time each has to devote to the process without sacrificing too much time from their own work and other responsibilities. Make sure both are okay with the amount. If there’s a significant gap between how much you each are willing to critique, perhaps a different writing buddy is necessary.
A writing relationship provides the satisfaction of bringing someone along for your ride, as well as joining them on theirs. It’s also time well spent, because analyzing the work of another writer will often improve your own. Plus, buddies will bring up new thoughts and help research when questions arise. No matter what stage you each are at in writing, there is always something to learn from each other.
Author Bio: When Rainy Kaye isn’t plotting world domination, she enjoys encouraging aspiring overlords on her blog, Rainy of the Dark (http://www.rainyofthedark.com). She is powered by coffee, encouraged by chocolate, and convinced the household felines are plotting her demise. She is married to a man who excels at humoring her.
What do I want from you?
Do you have a writing buddy? What have been the benefits or challenges of this relationship?
Any other advice you’d like to add?
And again, so long as your comment has a little substance, I don’t mind if you leave a link. I do it at your blogs; you might as well do it here 🙂
Also, if you have the time, check out Rainy’s blog. Her posts are usually short and succinct.
Finally, even though I don’t know what I’ll be posting, I hope you’ll check back next Friday to see.
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