In late 2012, I joined two of my fellow Hatrackers in forming a novel chapter exchange group. The idea was great, and I considered the first cycle of exchanges a success. Unfortunately, the group’s original momentum became derailed for various reasons (one of which was because we brought on two new people, which stretched out the individual writer’s turnaround time), to the point where the group fell apart before anyone’s manuscript was completely critiqued.
I still like the concept of a novel chapter exchange group, and I want to start a new one, but I believe its best chance of success will come if (1) we keep it at three people; (2) we keep the manuscripts as close to similar lengths as possible; (3) we keep the manuscripts as close to the same genre as possible (I’m fairly flexible as to genre, but I’ve been on the wrong end of many examples where a critiquer whose writings and/or preferences didn’t cross into the genre my story was told in ultimately lost focus…and interest).
All that said…I would enjoy forming a novel chapter exchange group with two other people who write and/or connect with contemporary young adult fiction (meaning that my manuscript contains no magic, no vampires, no zombies…just regular teens doing borderline-idiotic teen things). The manuscript I would submit to this group is just over 25K words, but it is broken into smaller scenes that could essentially serve as chapters. If anybody has a young adult or even an urban fantasy story they would like critiqued, and would be willing to take on my manuscript, respond to this thread.
Once I have two participants, this group is locked forever. I’m not making the same mistake again. But, if this group turns out as successful as I suspect, then I will want to start another such group later on; believe me when I say I have plenty of other novel-length stories on the verge of requiring critiquing, including plenty of science fiction and a mainstream / mystery I’m very much looking forward to unveiling.
quote:Originally posted by Steve 46th: ... The manuscript I would submit to this group is just over 25K words, but it is broken into smaller scenes that could essentially serve as chapters. If anybody has a young adult or even an urban fantasy story they would like critiqued, and would be willing to take on my manuscript, respond to this thread.
Hi Steve, I commend you for your discipline and strict participation parameters. However, isn't "25K" the length of a short novella and not a novel?
This makes it tough to provide you a "'novel' of equal length" as you have stipulated. Just the first part (of 3) of my newest (YA appropriate) novel is 35K! And my urban fantasy first novel that has been getting enough renewed interest that I may soon give it another look is 108K!
Thus, while I commend you on your strict parameters and wish you great success, I am disqualified.
@ History: I anticipated the unequal length issue, and I've been working it behind the scenes. Even though the first participant's manuscript is much longer than mine, I will still critique his...and humbly suggest that he might like to read a second short manuscript of mine that might close the word count gap a little. If you want to throw in your 35K YA appropriate manuscript, go for it. The only part of this group's original structure I am inflexible about is how many participate in any one group.
@ Axe: Thanx for the props! Perhaps, you and I can conduct another short fiction manuscript exchange one of these days. I have one that's not ticking me off as much as it was last week...!