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Showing posts from June, 2008

The Five Cs of a Good Critique Group

By Chris Stewart

In my first post on this subject, I talked about the biggest contributor to a good critique group (sometimes people also call these workshops, though not meaning one you sign up and pay for) - chemistry. To refresh your memory this link should, in theory, take you to that post: Chemistry

A critique group is a partnership, so let's move on to the other four factors.

The first is Commitment. Pretty self-explanatory. If you agree to take part in a critique group then commit to at least six months. Ideally you should be meeting every 2-3 weeks, but even if it's once a month, it takes about three or so sessions for you to start feeling comfortable and for the group to find its groove (or for you to find your place within the group if you're joining one that's already established). Then it takes another few meetings with your guard down to determine if you are getting what you need in terms of critique (I'll touch on that in more detail in another post when…

How Agents Build Writers' Careers

By Richard CurtisA literary agent's life involves far more than reading, lunching, and deal-making. His or her services embrace the literary, legal, financial, social, political, psychological, and even the spiritual; and the jobs they are obliged to tackle run the gamut from computer troubleshooting to espionage. But because our business is a day-to-day, book-to-book affair, we tend to lose perspective. With our preoccupation with advances and royalties, payout schedules and discounts, movie rights and foreign rights and serial rights and merchandise rights, with option clauses and agency clauses and acceptability clauses and termination clauses, it is all too easy for us to forget that our primary goal is to build careers, to take writers of raw talents, modest accomplishments, and unimpressive incomes and render them prosperous, successful, and emotionally fulfilled.

This endeavor demands the application of all the skill and experience we command, plus something else: vision. Vi…