Thursday, November 17, 2011

Critique Partner #4: Annalise Green

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.


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 #4 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 #4: Annalise Green

  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.)
A. I’m a 23 year old college student pursuing a masters in Clinical Psychology.

  1. What made you decide to start writing?
A. Since about the first grade, I’ve had my nose in a book. Since about the fifth grade, I’ve loved to write. I just like telling stories.

  1. How long have you been writing at a serious level.
A. Well, I first tried to write a novel in high school. I wrote about 100 pages. I’ve been pretty serious about it since then, although I still haven’t finished a novel. So I guess that’s about 9 to 10 years or so.

  1. How many completed manuscripts do you have under your belt.
A. Unfortunately, I’ve never finished a novel. My longest completed works are short stories at 7000 words. I’ve completed a lot of short stories but no novels. I’m pretty optimistic about completing my latest novel effort, as right now I’m more disciplined and structured than ever before.

  1. What’s the genre of story you’d like to have critiqued?
A. I’m currently working on the first draft of a science fiction novel, but honestly it won’t be ready for critique for several months. However, I’m continuing to put out shorts that straddle the boundaries between science fiction, fantasy, and magical realism.

  1. What genre(s) do you normally write?
A. Science fiction and fantasy.

  1. What genre(s) do you like to read for pleasure? Name some authors you’ve read (and enjoyed) recently.
A. Science fiction and fantasy, although I tend not to be too stringent about it and will read pretty much anything that entertains me. I love Neil Gaiman, Kazuo Ishiguro, Murakami, Erin Bow, Kelly Link, Patrick Ness, Isaac Asimov, Scott Snyder, and Agatha Christie.

  1. What genre(s) would you prefer not to read?
A. I don’t think I would be very helpful with straight-up romance. It’s not a genre I know a lot about. Same with a lot of urban fantasy.  I tend not to enjoy things that are hardcore literary either, at least in the sense that they emphasize realism above all else. It’s tough because I can see myself enjoying certain stories from those genres – but in some ways they’re the opposite of what I write, so I’m not sure that I would be very helpful.

  1. Are you published? If yes, what, where, and when?
A. Nope. Not published.

  1. Do you have an agent? Care to share his/her name and company? (Not required, just curious.)
A. Nope, no agent either.

  1. Have you entered any contests and what were the results?
A. I don’t think I’ve ever entered a contest. In high school, my short stories were selected over other students to be read at a special event. But I’m not sure that was a contest, really.

  1. Are you a member of RWA or any other writers’ groups?
A. I’m a member of the writer’s association in my state, and I’m in a local critique group.

  1. Are you a plotter or a panster?
A. In the past, I was a panster. More recently, I’ve been converted to plotting. I just wrote a 32 page outline for my WIP.

  1. If you join this group, what will you have the members critique?
A)    something you’ve already finished and are planning on submitting to agents
B)    something your agent wants you to edit before she can submit?

C)    something you’re still working on, but you’ll send the earlier part for critiquing?

D)    something you’ve just started. You plan to write and have that chapter critiqued soon after?

E)     other?

A. Definitely A. Except that for the most part, it’ll be short stories that I’m planning on submitting to magazines. But I do have this larger WIP that I need feedback on before I submit to agents.

  1. How often would you wish to exchange work to be critiqued and how many pages at a time?
A. Right now, I’ll probably only be sending short stories once a month. Lately, they haven’t been very long – certainly under 4000 words. However, when I do send the larger WIP, it will be the full novel manuscript at once. I want people to evaluate the story in its entirety, not in bits and snatches.

  1. What are your strong points and areas of improvement as a writer?
A. I like to think that I’m not a sloppy writer. I have a pretty rigorous editing process and I don’t like to submit anything to betas until I’m sure I’ve gotten as far with it as I possibly can. So you’re not likely to see a lot of typos and/or clumsy sentences (although I wouldn’t say never, either). People have complimented me on my descriptions. And I care a lot about entertaining the reader, so I work really hard not to have parts that are “boring”.

However, this is also my weakest area. I’ve noticed that I don’t get feedback to cut things, but rather to put more stuff in because the manuscript is too bare. I also sometimes make the mistake of thinking that something is perfectly understandable when it’s not, so people have to let me know when I’ve lost them.

Another important thing to understand about me is that I purposefully write with a “neutral” style, because I don’t like to explicitly state emotion or even character thoughts. I would rather communicate things like that through character actions. But sometimes I don’t have enough of that either, so I end up with characters that readers can’t connect to because they’re too enigmatic. I don’t necessarily want to change my neutral style, but I do want to make sure that I’m doing my job so that the readers can understand where the characters are coming from without making it feel like work.

  1. Rate your strengths/weakness in the areas bellowing using the following scale:
A. Polished writing - 4
      Descriptions – 4

      Hooking the reader – 3

      Not having enough details – 2

      Confusing the reader – 1

      Neutral tone – 2

  1. Describe the GMCs (goals, motivations, conflicts) for one of your characters.
A. Casey is the main character in my novel KILL THE LAST ONE. His main goals are to escape the strange world of the Mock Universe, and to protect his younger brother Cameron. He’s motivated by his desire to survive and also by his love for his brother. However, he’s also fighting with Cameron because Casey did a couple stupid things upon entering the Mock Universe that resulted in the death of their younger brother Evan. In addition, Casey is the coveted “last one”, which means that if someone kills him, they get to go back to the real world. Fortunately, most people don’t know that Casey is the last one. Unfortunately, the one person who does know is the person who killed Evan.

  1. 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?
A. 3 for both giving and receiving. I think it’s important to let writers know what they’re doing right, not just to be fluffy but because people need to inflate their strengths and deflate their weaknesses. And of course, in order to do that, you need to know your weakness as well.

  1. How would you describe yourself as a critiquer (detailed, line edit type person, big picture/concept person, ect.)?
A. I’m usually hesitant to suggest big picture changes because I feel like that borders on telling people how to write their story, rather than helping them write their story in their style. But I have been know to make some big picture suggestions if I think that it’s something that’s really important. I’m not sure I’m a detailed line edit person either. It’s more like, I tend to focus on the level of the scene, rather than the level of the sentence or even the entire story structure.

  1. 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 when matchmaking.)
A. Yes, I have a blog! It’s Totally fine to post this on your blog.

  1. Do you belong to or have you ever belonged to a critique group?
A. I have a long history with critique groups. In high school, I took two creative writing classes that basically functioned as critique groups. Similarly, I took four fiction workshops in college. Right now, I’m in a local critique group that meets once a month and I’m thinking of joining another local critique group that meets once a week. In addition, I’m in an online critique group with about five members. I also have three beta readers not associated with a critique group, but that are awesome writers. I love giving and getting feedback.

  1. A critique group isn’t a place to promote personal agendas such as religion or politics. Will that be a problem for you?
A. Nope. I wouldn’t even say that my stories have anything to do with religion or politics.

  1. 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?
A. Honestly, I’ll probably be a source of a lot of the swears and graphic violence. Maybe even some sex scenes. So no, I’m fine with it.

  1. Are you looking for a long term critique group or just someone to help you with this particular story?
A. I need something long term.

Real name: Annalise Green

Website and/or blog:

Tomorrow, I'll post Critique Partner #5's questionnaire.  See you then.
Lynnette Labelle

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