The Big Reveal

Welcome to the Big Reveal

 I enjoy reading author interviews, but often times they don’t ask the kinds of questions I wonder about. So I’ve assembled a group of writers at all levels, from unagented to published, and every week I will have a new question for them. Some of these ladies have helped me with my own work, or given me advice on blogging or writing, so check out their blogs and see what they’re about.

Do you utilize Critique Partners or Beta Readers?


Cassie Mae, Un-agented author
Yes and yes! I have two crit groups, one full of strictly in depth crit partners and the others are betas, but they are both very invaluable to me!

Jade Hart, Pre-published author
I wouldn’t be where I am today without my amazing group of CP’s (you included, Suzi! You’re amazing) and I wouldn’t recommend doing the hard slog of writing without friends and partners in your corner. It’s too lonely and soul wrenching otherwise.
(Thank you Jade. That’s sweet.)

Stacie Stokes, Un-agented author
Yes and yes. I’ve had a number of beta readers read my current MS, and their input has been invaluable. I realized throughout this process that I need outside opinions to help me identify plot holes, inconsistencies and to point out strengths and weaknesses in a story. I recently joined a critique group of 4 writers I met at a writing workshop, so it will be interesting to have regular feedback on my works in progress.

Me (Suzi) Un-agented author
I don’t belong to a critique group and generally don’t work with critique partners while I write. I’d much rather wait until I have a rough draft because my writing is so out of order and wouldn’t make sense. Beta readers are crucial, and I’m amazed at the things they point out that I missed. It makes me feel silly sometimes at what I missed.
On the flip side, being a beta is great. I’ve learned so much from reading other people’s work, and I’ve gotten to read some terrific stories.

Joelene B. Perry, Published author
I have VERY, VERY few people I trust with my writing. And not so much because I think they’re going to “steal” it, but because I’ve gotten bad feedback before. I have my totally trusted first few readers, but branch out once in a while to give my regulars a break. That, and I think it’s important to get new eyes once in a while. They’re used to me and might let certain things slide. I also think it’s crucial to have a reader who is NOT a writer, and then definitely have some crit partners who are better than you are.

Liesl Shurtliff, Pre-published author
Good critique partners are essential! I have a handful of trusted critique partners/beta readers. They are amazing. Fierce yet loving. I couldn’t write without them!

Mindy McGinnis, Pre-published author
Absolutely. I use 2 CPs and 2 Betas – the CP’s are writers, the Betas are pure reader-reaction feedback. Same four people, everytime.

Amy Sonnichsen, Agented author
I *usually* don’t let anyone read that first draft, but I do have a few carefully chosen critique partners who read second, third, fourth, fifth (and so on) drafts.

Melodie Wright, Agented author
I use beta readers and am building that trusted circle. Again, who I ask to beta really depends on the type of MS I’m working on. For my MS based in Alaska about dog mushing, I’m asking local writers who know about the topic to read it. For my MS set in Israel, I asked people who know about the Middle East to read it, in addition to writers.

Ryann Kerekes, Agented author
Yes, I heart my critique partners and beta readers. I have a few trusted readers and then I’m also a member of a fantastic YA writer’s group in Minneapolis.

Ben Spendlove, Un-agented author
I have a few critique partners. (Meaning we critique each other’s work.) I gravitate toward people whose writing I love. I only have one reader who isn’t also a writer.

Do you utilize Critique Partners or Beta Readers?

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