#SubjectA36 Sequel, Critique Groups, and Discerning Eaters

Now that Subject A36 has been released, it’s time to focus on the sequel.  I attempted NaNo (and epically failed), but knew I wouldn’t win this time.  My goal was to check in with my characters and hear their thoughts three months after Subject A36 ended, which is where the sequel picks up.  They told me in around 9K words.  Today, I start my own kind of NaNo.  My plan is to re-read what I’ve already written – I haven’t opened the file since November – and go from there.  I’ve been jotting down ideas and have a good bit of the story in my head, but it’s time to strap in and get started.

How many of you belong to critique groups or have a critique partner?  I’ve never had one, but SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) started a chapter locally several months ago, and I’m meeting with my group for the first time in a couple weeks.  Which is another reason I need to get down to business with the new book.  Neither of the other two writes YA or reads YA to my knowledge, so I don’t know if that will be a factor, but I’m eager to see where this goes.

Hubby and I just finished season 3 of Jon Favreau’s The Chef Show on Netflix.  If you’re a foodie, I recommend it.  The first season, some of his guests were Marvel actors he’s directed.  When it comes to food, there are four basic things I don’t care for – mustard (the smell makes me sick), mayo, peppers, and onions.  Now, imagine you’re me in a restaurant perusing the menu.  Trust me when I say those four ingredients are usually included in about 80% of the offerings.  Many times, onions aren’t even listed as an ingredient, so I always have to ask.  While watching The Chef Show as yet more peppers and onions were added to a dish, I remarked to hubby how it seems like chefs could be a bit more creative and not rely on those four things so often.  He disagreed, of course – he’s a fan of all four.  Maybe I should issue a personal challenge to chefs everywhere to create more dishes for people like me.  We’re discerning, not picky.

Happy Reading and Writing this week!

32 thoughts on “#SubjectA36 Sequel, Critique Groups, and Discerning Eaters

  1. I am a member of a critique group, and we all write very different things. We can’t give each other deep feedback (because our genres are so different), but we do provide value with things like logic flaws and historical or science errors and of course the basic, “Wait, I’m lost here. What happened to the character?” and “This passage was captivating.”

    Yeah, mustard and mayo are on every sandwich, and peppers and onions are in everything else!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Those are probably the areas we’ll cover, I’m guessing. I’ve wanted critique partners for quite a while, so I’m hoping things go well.

      With my sandwiches, it’s hummus, pesto, or oil and vinegar (if I’m at Subway).

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  2. I belong to 3 critique groups, all very different and I love all of them. The feedback is so valuable. No one else writes children’s books but that is OK. It is the writing I want to be critiqued. Everyone picks up different things. One group consists of mostly poets. Wow, they have quite a way with words! I don´t use all the suggestions of course, but it always gets me thinking and revising and ultimately a better writer. Hubby can´t tolerate onions and peppers so I don´t put any in his food but cook them separately and add them to mine. He has to be careful in restaurants.

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    1. I can’t imagine being in a group with poets – I’m absolutely clueless when it comes to poetry. All I could offer is a thumbs up or down, lol. But I’m really excited to get some feedback. I can’t imagine trying to keep up with three groups – you’re amazing, Darlene! And I feel your hubby’s pain.

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      1. I’m useless at poetry as well but they tolerate me and every now and then I say something like perhaps the word _would convey more meaning and they think I’m amazing!! LOL. I’m also learning more about poetry which is more technical than I realized. And the bonus is I’ve made some great new friends!

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  3. I am part of a critique group, and it wonderful. Finding the right mix is challenging and my first attempt was as positive as what I have now. I only dislike two foods, but they’re in everything. Tomatoes and olives.

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  4. YAY for you working on the sequel to Subject A36!

    When I was in my late teens, I was in a writing group that was combination critique group and writing class. We dealt with poetry and short stories, regardless of the age they were aimed at. Everything from children’s fairy tales to x rated poetry was on the table. It was a great group. I still remember my utter amazement when the frail-looking little old lady in charge of it read out a rather explicit poem she’d written. Who knew little old ladies had those kinds of things in their minds? Anyway, it was a great group. Shame all of us moved in different directions, and some of the members – who were in their 60s or older at the time – are no longer with us. I haven’t been in a group since.

    I rarely use mustard, don’t use what you’d think of as mayo because of being vegan (and don’t even use the vegan mayo half as much as a lot of people seem to use regular mayo) and don’t use peppers a lot either. I’ll admit to being guilty of often including onions in things, since I’m a big fan of them, but I make quite a few things that don’t involve any of those things you don’t like.

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    1. You gave me a great laugh over the little old lady, Tori – my mouth would have dropped open, lol! Sounds like you had a wonderful mix of people and genres in the group. I hadn’t thought about mayo not being vegan. My youngest had a friend who was vegan, but she never ate vegan mayo.

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      1. I was only 17, and until that point had been under the illusion that little old ladies never had those kinds of thoughts. Especially since she was the perfect image of the traditional little old lady on the outside, complete with flowery dress and knitted cardigan and everything. Just goes to show it’s not only books you shouldn’t judge by the cover. 😉

        Well, a large part of it is eggs usually, so… Yeah, normal mayo is definitely not vegan. I think the availability of vegan mayo is quite new. I certainly hadn’t seen it until last year. It worked out well for me, because I only switched from vegetarian to vegan last year. I wouldn’t have lost any sleep over lack of mayo though. I make use of it at times, since it exists, but it’s never bothered me the times I’ve gone to get some and we couldn’t find it.

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  5. suerovens

    I haven’t really been part of a critique group. I’m sure there are great ones out there, but for me and how I write, I’m more of a loner. Once I finish it, I’ll let some folks read it, but while I’m in the midst of things, I rather keep it to myself.

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  6. I was a member of a face to face writer’s critique group for 5 years, Teri, and found it absolutely invaluable. We were all writers of sci-fi and fantasy. I definitely recommend finding a couple of writers who write in your genre, if you can. I found my group through a local writer’s organization who had a list of area groups by genre. I made calls to those groups that fit, and it was the best thing I ever did for my writing and career. I outgrew the group, as happens, and now I write with just one critique partner. We communicate by email and she’s brutal on my work, which I love!!!
    Good luck! I can’t wait until the next book!

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    1. I’ve looked around for a genre specific group, but only found a children’s group. I’m excited to give it a try and really hope it works out. Critique groups are new for our chapter and some want to meet more often than others, so I’m sure there will be some hopping around until everyone finds what works.

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  7. I’ve been involved with critique groups or a critique partner for decades. My first critique partner and I worked together for twelve years before she passed away. I am now a member of a small group and I find the feedback invaluable. I definitely think crit groups and/or a critique partner is the way to go.

    I’m not a fan of may or onions but I do love mustard. The thing I most have a problem with when I eat out is garlic. I can’t digest it and it’s in EVERYTHING! I always ask before I order!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I remember you mentioning your critique partner passing away – so sorry, Mae. You’re right about garlic. It’s probably in more dishes than onions and peppers! I always ask about onions, also. It’s surprising how many dishes include it, but don’t list it as an ingredient on the menu.

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  8. I’ve been in a critique group but now use critique partners. Bother are invaluable. The problem with the group I used to attend was that not all of them wrote fiction. Some were inexperienced and had little to offer the group. Not that I mind that, but I had come to a point where I needed something more. I’m now partners with three other published authors and it’s just what I needed.

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    1. That’s something I’m unsure about with this group, Joan. I’ve never seen their writing, and I’m really unsure about exactly what they write or how experienced they are. It kind of feels like a blind date, lol.

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