Have you read a book and found a dedication page or acknowledgements page and wondered, who are these people? That is where we thank the people who made our writing possible; family, friends, editors, and such. But what if you haven’t read one of my books? I still want people to know the important people in my writing world. In the tradition of giving thanks this time of year…

lauren-ovalI would like to thank Lauren Royal

Way back in the Internet stone age…1995-2000, give or take, our Internet Provider was Prodigy. It was a very friendly service and formed groups of your interests; writing, genealogy, hobbies, etc. Back then I belonged to Prodigy RWG or Romance Writing Groups. The moderators took 2 published authors and paired them with 2 or 3 unpublished authors, kind of like a mentoring group. But we became so much more than that. We became friends. One of the authors we were paired with was Lauren Royal, historical romance author extraordinaire. If not for Lauren I never would have learned about RWA (Romance Writers of America). She was the one to tell me of the organization and that I should join. She saw my very first ramblings and encouraged me to continue. She helped me in more ways than she can possibly know. So to her and all the other mentors out there who give of their time and patience for the love of the art…Thank You!!!

Jill James, published author because of lots of help!!

Critique Partners

critiquingA Good Critique Partner is Platimum and Worth Their Weight In Gold


To a writer, a good critique partner is as important as their current WIP(work in progress), their laptop, and just the right pen.  Sometimes it can take several tries to find the right critique partner, and sometimes, like me, you find the right one with your first try.

A good CP (critique partner) knows your voice and doesn’t try to change it, they try to make it stronger and clearer.  They want your work to be the best it can be.  They want you and your work to shine.

To say that this skill is priceless is to lay too small a prize on what a good CP can do for you and your writing.  It is not about telling you each word you write is perfect.  Far from it.  They tell you what is wrong in a way that you can fix it and make it better.  They tell you when you’ve gone off on a tangent that has nothing to do with your story.  They let you know what is confusing and what works. They are another pair of eyes to find the mistakes you’ve skipped over twenty times already.

In the best of worlds your CP becomes your friend too.  Reading each other’s works allows the CP’s to see a piece of the others soul.  Only a friend can do that and still be your friend.

I’ve been gifted with several wonderful CP’s in the time I’ve been seriously pursuing this thing called writing; Lauren Royal, Nancy Phillips, Diana Brandmeyer, Elaine Ecuyer, Lee Lopez, and Judi Soifer. Thanks ladies.
Do you have a critique partner or friend who has changed your life?

Jill James