In case you haven't noticed, I'm matchmaking critique groups. You can either come to my blog and read questionnaires filled out by potential critique partners to see if you find one you like. Or you can fill out a questionnaire yourself and send it to me. I might post it on my blog or I might do the work in the background and set you up with someone who might be a good fit for you.
DEADLINE FOR SENDING ALL QUESTIONNAIRES IS FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 18.
Note: The questionnaires will be posted as they were given to me. I am not editing them, so any spelling or grammar mistake is theirs, not mine. Even if the writer has given me permission to use his/her name, I’ll refer to that person as Critique Partner # (whatever number he/she is assigned.) This does not mean anyone has been paired up yet. I simply needed a system to identify everyone.
Critique Partner #2 hasn’t told me not to post her information, so you can contact her directly if you wish or you can go through me.
Here’s a little bit about Critique Partner #2: Pat Brown/ GK Parker
Critique Group Questionnaire
1. In a paragraph, tell us a bit about yourself. (Married? Kids? Pets? Job? Anything you’d like to share, but don’t talk about writing here. Those types of questions will follow.)
Born in Western Canada, I spent 8 years in Los Angeles, where I fell in love with the city. I returned there earlier this year for 2 weeks and found I'm stil enamored. Never been married. I have a daughter, 23 who was born in the US. I'm an animal lover and have had some kind of pet most of my life. They've run the gamut from rats, rabbits and tropical fish to cats and dogs. Dogs by far are my favorite and my favorite dog was a sweet Doberman called Slik. I'm a horse lover too and while I never owned one, I have ridden most of my life.
2. What made you decide to start writing?
I grew up in a family that loved books, and always had them in the house. I loved reading and words and telling my own stories only seemed natural. I've written since I was very young, basically since I knew how to spell and write on paper.
3. How long have you been writing at a serious level?
I grew serious about writing in the early tweny-first century when I switched from writing Science Fiction to crime ficiton. That was when my love for L.A really came in to the picture, and my work. I never cared for frothy, light fiction, I always prefered the darker, more complext stuff. In Science Fiction I read 'hard' SF, that is the science was more realistic. With crime fiction I never grew to like cozy mysteries.
4. How many completed manuscripts do you have under your belt?
I have 12 novels in print, several short stories and as of now, 2 historical novels completed and not sold and 1 historical WIP. I also have a crime fiction novel unpublished.
5. What’s the genre of the story you’d like to have critiqued?
6. What genre(s) do you normally write?
Up until a year ago I wrote contemporary crime fiction, mostly police procedurals, with some suspense as well. Now I see myself as an historical author.
7. What genre(s) do you like to read for pleasure? Name some authors you’ve read (and enjoyed) recently.
Crime ficiton by the likes of Michael Connelly, Robert Crais, T. Jefferson Parker, and Joseph Waumbaugh among others. The best book I've read recently was actually 2 parts, split into 2 books. It was called Daemon and Freedom and are without a doubt, the best cyber thriller I have ever read.
8. What genre(s) would you prefer not to read?
No fantasy, vampires, werewolves, or any fantasy creatures. I don't read inspirational books, and I don't think I'd be a good critiquer of the genre.
9. Are you published? If yes, what, where, and when?
I've been published for 6 years, starting with L.A. Heat, first published by Alyson Books and republished by MLR Press. There are 4 other books in the series. I have another series with 2 books in it and a number of standalones.
10. Do you have an agent? Care to share his/her name and company? (Not required, just curious).
I recently signed with an agent for my historical novel. Her name is Drea Cahone and she is with The Rights Factory. I had 2 other agents over the last few years. One sold L.A. Heat, the other one wasn't able to sell the novel he signed, so he dropped me.
11. Have you entered any contests and what were the results?
I've never really been a fan of contests.
12. Are you a member of RWA or any other writers’ groups?
Right now the only organizations I belong to are Sisters in Crime and the Historical Novel Society.
13. Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Pure pantster. I've tried plotting, but it always failed so now I just give in the urge to write with only a vague idea of where it's going in the end. And often that changes as the story grows.
14. If you join this group, what will you have the members critique?
c)something you’re still working on, but you’ll send the earlier part for critique and work on the rest?
15. How often would you wish to exchange work to be critiqued and how many pages at a time?
In order to get a real feel for the novel, I think at least 4-5 chapters or at least 50 pages should be read. The first 50 pages are so critical and often need the most work.
16. What are your strong points and areas of improvement as a writer?
My characters always get praise. And my desriptions are good. j
17. Rate your strength/weakness in the areas below using the following scale:
1- Need a lot of help
2- Still working on this
3- I stumble sometimes
4- I rarely struggle with this
5- Very strong in this area
a) grammar 2 – still working on it
b) spelling 5
b) punctuation 2-3 depending on which editor you talked to
d) description 5 – very strong and use all the senses
e) dialogue 5 – strong and usually good at giving unique voice to characters
f) narrative 3 – I have to watch I don't overdue it
g) POV 3 – I try to avoid overt POV problems but I'm not always good at picking out subtle shifts
h) passive voice 4
i) action/tension 3 - I have to watch that my tension doesn't dissipate
j) tight writing 3
k) show vs. tell 4
l) GMCs 4
18. Describe the GMCs (goals, motivations, conflicts) for one of your characters.
Finn Gallagher is a man of 26 who wants to find his own place in the world. He's sure it's not with Sean and Caitlin Culyan, the couple who rescued him and took him out of the slums of New York. He loves his adopted family, though he and Sean are always at loggerheads, which adds to his desire to find something else. He doesn't want to be a rancher, like Sean.
His goal is finding his own place in the world
His motiviation, in the beginning, is to be free of what he sees as the constant conflict between him and Sean.
His conflicts are many. Sean and him have always been in conflict. Finn, orphaned at a very young age, poured all his love into Caitlin as his mother. But as he grew up, he found he had another kind of love for her. He knows this is wrong. Sean sends Finn away on business and to defy him, Finn takes his latest lover, a Mexican woman, Lupe. This puts him in Sean's cross-hairs along with Lupe's parents. Added is the fac t that a white man could not having anythjing to do with a Latino.
19. On a scale of 1 to 5 (1 being fluffy and 5 being very tough but not rude) what level of critique are you comfortable giving/receiving?
I would seriously like any critiquer of my work be as honest and brutal as they can be – as long as it's aimed at improving the novel, and not a personal attack. I don't want anyone to think they can't tell me the truth
20. How would you describe yourself as a critiquer (detailed, line edit type person, big picture/concept person, etc.)?
I do a bit of everything though the line editing will be more suggestions to make a word or phrase better. I will insert commas or such. The more of a book I can read, the better I am at giving a big picture. It's nearly impossible to see the big picture unless you read the whole book. I will also will say when I'm confused or something doesn't work.
21. Do you have a website or blog? What’s the address? (Are you comfortable with this being posted on my blog? If not, please answer the question and let me know. I won’t post this but need to know more about you when matchmaking.)
Historical Website: http://pabrown.com/Gkparker/
Historical Blog: http://gkparkerhistorynoir.blogspot.com/
Critique Group Specific:
22. Do you belong to or have you ever belonged to a critique group?
I belong to 2 off line groups and 1 group where we will swap novels occasionally
23. A critique group isn’t a place to promote personal agendas such as religion or politics. Will that be a problem for you?
Not at all. I come to improve my writing and if I can, help others
24. In this group, you may find writing with swears, graphic violence, and explicit sex scenes. Will that bother you? Can you objectively critique this type of work?
I've written just about everything. Graphic violence and erotic stories. So I can be totally objective.
25. Are you looking for a long term critique group or just someone to help you with this particular story?
I have always wanted to find a critique group or partner who 'got' what I write and knows where I'm going
Contact Information: (Please fill this out, but let me know if you don’t want this or part of this to be posted on my blog. For example, you may not want your email address posted but are okay with your name and website mentioned.)
No problem. Post it all
Real name: Pat Brown
Pseudonym: GK Parker
Website and/or blog: http://pabrown.com/Gkparker/
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Come back Monday for another post about critique groups and Tuesday for a look at Critique Partner #3.