Friday, June 21, 2013

Danny Fahey – How to Find a Critique Buddy

How to Find a Critique Buddy

by Danny Fahey 

I’ll start of my answer by saying how important it is to have a critique buddy – though I have never referred to them as such. They are people whose opinions I value, who give feedback when I need it most, who are prepared to read and reread things I am working on, even though I know at times it must bore them silly. They are friends prepared to push me to improve my work and they are invaluable. Without them a writer might rest too heavily upon her or his laurels. Might skip over the untidy passages and focus only on the good stuff. A critique buddy always, even while patting you on the back, spots that untidy sentence or thought and says ‘but, well, I think this passage is no good, or this bit is a bit confusing… They push a writer to revisit the every places in a novel or poem that they do not wish to revisit.

For my poetry I am lucky to work with an excellent poet called Michael Heald, and his insights are pure gold. Also for poetry I have for many years been a member of various online writing forums. I find they may not work too well for long pieces of writing but for poetry they have been invaluable for their insights, their discussions and their long-range friendships. It was through such an online group that I met the publisher (Beatrice Benn Books) of my first novel The Woodcarver’s Son.

For my novel writing, a much longer and more demanding challenge (for the critique buddy that is) I use many systems for a critique buddy. Firstly there is my wife. She is not only supportive of my work. She is an excellent editor and has great taste (in books). She always reads my work in an early stage, when she often lets me know if she thinks its worth pursuing or not, and in the latter stages, as an editor and for her critical eye.

Secondly I belong to a writers group and they always help with little tidbits and insights and questions that force me to often rethink or to justify why I have written a particular sentence (etc.). I will read out a chapter or a troublesome page at the monthly meeting and then we’ll spend time chatting about my work before moving on to someone else’s work. Writing can be such a solitary thing that I find the writer’s group a nice change from the hours spent facing the computer as the sun descends and night takes over.

Thirdly, friends. Two such friends immediately spring to mind – An old friend Michael and Kevin who is a fellow writer. In particular, Kevin and I regularly chat about each of our projects, support each other, read each other’s work and offer criticism to help push our work along.

I found Kevin over a bottle of nice bottle of red. Michael and I found each other while training in Drama and I found the writing Group all on my own. I used the computer for that.

One day the orphan Catalina is taken home by her lone surviving relative, Aunt Griselda. Unfortunately for Catalina, all does not quite go as expected. Her aunt hates her and makes her life miserable. She learns she is to be sold to Stefano the Knife-thrower and used as a human target. To escape a certain death, Catalina leaps through a mysterious crossover point and ends up in a new land called Arboroth.

There, she is encounters a wolf-boy and a talking rat. She is beset by a cruel and inhospitable landscape, and all the while hunted by a pack of relentless hounds. Then Catalina discovers her aunt is also in Arboroth. And Griselda isn’t happy.

This is a fantasy tale of magic, of an evil witch and a little girl who just wants to know who she is.

Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords

Genre – Fantasy

Rating – PG

More details about the author

Connect with Danny Fahey on Facebook & Twitter



Post a Comment