What writing support systems have worked best for you (critique partners, local writer’s groups, chat loops)?
Cate Masters: I’ve taken part in all three, but can’t live without my crit partners. I depend on their expertise and keen insights to catch the flaws in my manuscripts before they reach any editor. I’m so lucky to have found such a group of funny, intelligent, supportive and tough writers. When I can, I also love to attend local workshops and conferences. There’s nothing like spending time with other authors who understand my obsession with imaginary characters!
Find out more about Cate at http://catemasters.blogspot.com
Regina Duke: Local writers and chat groups have always been a huge support system for me. Chat groups have played the biggest support role, in a general information and cheering section sense. As for actual improvements to my writing skills, I have met individuals through writers’ groups with whom I have formed working relationships with. One such helper turned out to be a professor of script writing at a New Jersey university. My writing improved dramatically over the course of two years of her coaching! Priceless assistance. And my current editor, Marian Kelly, has been improving my stories for many years.
I have not had great luck in the area of critique partners. When I was working full time, I just never had the extra hours in a week to attend meetings or do my share of the critiquing. But I know critique groups can be excellent when a writer finds the right “fit.”
Find out more about Regina: http://www.reginaduke.com
Mariposa Cruz: My first experience with a chat group aimed at writer mamas was a disaster. The discussions were all rants about kids—nothing about writing. Fortunately, I’ve become involved in a local romance writers loop which stays on point while maintaining a friendly atmosphere. Several of our members have published independently and their know-how and support have been instrumental in opening a new avenue of publishing for me.