It's that time of year again. Time for the Western Washington branch of the SCBWI to host its Great Critique. Now, if you're a kidlit author, and you aren't a member of the SCBWI, shame on you! Go to their website right now and sign up http://www.scbwi.org/ . Ok, on to the info.
This was my second great critique, and it was just as awesome as last year. I was put into a group hosted by published author Suzanne Selfors.
With me were two fellow writers, Ruth Dight and Tiffany Guerzon. Ruth is working on a middle grade boys fantasy/adventure. Tiffany, winner of the 2010 PNWA picture book literary contest, is working on a paranormal middle grade. Her website is http://www.tdguerzon.com/ .
I received the best advice. You know that middle grade book that I turned into a YA? Well, I was told it should be middle grade. So, I need to switch it back again. And you know what? It feels better that way. My fellow writers gave me great advice, and I can't wait to start more edits tomorrow.
One thing that Suzanne pointed out was a writer's habit of using too much detail. She told us that detail is fine in the first draft, it helps the writer orient themselves. But, as you edit, you need to be willing to let some of it go.
Another piece of sage advice that Suzanne told us, "Everybody is writing a novel. So make the first few sentences or pages really stand out to grab an agents attention." For more info on Suzanne check out her website http://www.suzanneselfors.com/ . She has two books coming out in 2012. The first is a YA romance/fairy tale, The Sweetest Spell. It hits shelves in August. Next, in November, is the 3rd installment in her "Smells" series, Smells Like A Pirate.
I had a wonderful time. I have so much to work on that I feel like staying up late, but I know I need some sleep, so, goodnight.