Writing groups and individual consultations

Just a quick clarification:

If you have questions about your specific manuscript while you’re writing it, it’s very helpful to get involved in a writing group. Actually, that’s what I did when I moved to Utah–I joined a writing group of close friends who know books and who I can trust to give open advice that will help me improve my writing. If you aren’t sure where to find a writing group near you, consult your local SCBWI chapter (to find yours, go to www.scbwi.org and click on "Regional Chapters") or check out your local college or library to find like-minded individuals. Nowadays there are many critique groups available online, too, of varying quality. I would get involved in your SCBWI chapter’s listserv and ask around about writing groups that might fit your needs, whether online or in person.

I highly recommend writing groups during the drafting process if you get a good group–sometimes writing groups can be known for endless revision of the first chapter, etc., and you want to be in a group that has a good pace and that progresses so that you are encouraged to finish your manuscript. And remember, it’s okay to "shop around" for a writing group that fits your needs–the first one you find isn’t always going to be the right one.

I hope that helps clarify what my freelancing service is: a paid critique/editing service for authors who have finished their manuscripts and feel they need an editor’s perspective before/during the submission process. Perhaps you’ve finished a first draft but would like a professional’s opinion on whether the plot/characterization/pacing is working and suggestions for improvement; perhaps you are ready to go and want an editor’s feedback on your submission packet (cover letter plus first three chapters). If so, I’d be glad to consult with you. 🙂 Before that, I’d be glad to answer general questions, and a writing group can be very helpful.