A Word with Spec Fic Writer Bonnie McCune

Welcome to A Word with Spec Fic Writers. This week, we interview Bonnie McCune, who has been writing since age ten, when the Saturday Evening Post rejected a submission, and has been publishing whatever she can for decades since. Bonnie lives in Colorado and is the author of novels, novellas and short stories. Her entire family is book-mad. Her interest in writing facilitated her career in nonprofits doing public and …

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Expert Advice from a New Writer

Writing advice surrounds me. Everyone, it seems, is an expert. One day, all that information on self-publishing, pitching a story, and writing query letters will come in handy, but for now I feel like I’m drowning in unhelpful advice. Sink with me to the bottom of the writing-advice ocean, where I talk with Mark Stevens, author and host of the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers (RMFW) Podcast. Why would Mark bother …

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Enlisting New Members to a Writers Critique Group

The total member count of any critique group will increase and decrease frequently. It’s just the nature of any situation heavy on judgement. And as some members progress to senior writers and publish their books, they may become too busy to attend regularly. If you’re a critique group leader, it’s your job to keep track of those members who come and go, and a huge part of your job is …

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What to Expect at Your First Critique Session

If you’re seeking membership in a critique group, it’s most likely because you hope to improve your ability to tell a story. If you’re a new writer, you’re also looking for guidance on the basics of grammar and craft. And if you’re a published author, you might be looking for reasons your books aren’t selling. Whatever your circumstances, it’s important to first know what you hope to gain from a …

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Beware of Critique Groups

Beware of Critique Groups!

Okay, I admit the title for this post is a little dramatic. So far we’ve been touting the importance of running your work through a critique group. Now I make them sound like a house of horrors. Know that this post isn’t meant to scare you away from critique groups. Mainly, it’s important to understand the choices you’ll face and the issues you’ll encounter as a member, which will ensure …

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Reasons to Join a Critique Group

As writers, our desire to tell stories keeps us going, full steam ahead. But every time we’re tap tapping away at the keyboard, the number one question in our minds is, will anyone like my book? By 2017, over 1 million books had been self-published. If the story you’re writing doesn’t stand out, it will sit on that online bookstore shelf, unnoticed and lost in the mix. So if you’re …

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Moderating an Online Critique Session

Whether a critique group meets in-person or online, each session needs a moderator. The moderator sets the order of critiques, starts the video session, directs the meeting flow, and keeps the peace from start to finish. Schedule and Group Size Three hours is the ideal timeframe to conduct a session. If a meeting lasts longer than three hours, attendees’ attention will diminish. This window also works well across the four …

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Sharing Critique Pages And Preparing For Online Critique Sessions

Leaders of an online critique group are responsible for setting up new members and preparing everyone for weekly critique sessions. Having one or two people as the go-to is helpful in keeping each meeting running in an organized manner. My previous post discussed How To Set Up File Sharing For An Online Critique Group, so your file structure is in place and ready for writers to upload the pages they …

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How To Set Up File Sharing For An Online Critique Group

One of the most important parts of online critique is setting up and maintaining the group’s file sharing service. For the purpose of this post, we will not proclaim to be experts in file sharing, nor will we bore you with all the technical details. We will explain what we use and how we use our shared drive. If you are interested in learning more about the services available, one …

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