Posts Tagged ‘critique groups’

Welcome again to YAFF Muse: blog rounds. The ladies of YA Fiction Fanatics have come together for YAFF Muse. To have a little fun, explore different styles of writing and to give you some kick-butt shorts to read.

Without further delay, this week’s YAFF Muse pic was provided by YAFF Member: Cambria. Don’t forget to check out the other ladies stories, I’ve linked their sites at the end the post. Enjoy!

Gold By: Kizunachan

My fingers tightened around the bars of my cage, hands turning green then gray to blend in with them.

            “Tomorrow will be the big day,” one of the white coats said to another.

            Doctor Parcher held up a syringe, eyes glinting when he caught my gaze. “So it will. We’ll see if Giselle here can pass the test.”

            The test. That’s all they’d been talking about for weeks now. The outcome of my actions in their arena would decide whether their funding continued or not. God, I hated them. Almost as much as I hated myself for agreeing to come here.

            But at fourteen living on the streets, trying to find food, I would’ve accepted almost any offer. I’d never forget when Doctor Parcher found me in the alley, living in the box. How he promised to give me a home and food in exchange for participating in some studies.

            A bunch of shit, that’s what it was. I didn’t know his work would turn me into something almost inhuman. That they’d inject me with a new formula to meld animal DNA with my human DNA.

            And tomorrow, they’d put me in the jungle and watch me perform.

            “Sleep well, Giselle,” Doctor Parcher said. Most of the white coats left the room all accept Ash.

            His auburn hair glimmered beneath the fluorescent lights, his tanned skin dark against his white coat. When the door clicked shut, he turned to me.

            “Take this and tuck it in your boot,” Ash said, handing me a knife. “Tomorrow, you’ll have a chance to escape. I’ll wait for you near the falls.”

            His fingers brushed mine and I gazed at him.

            “Why are you helping me?”

            “Do I need to explain?”

            He knew as well as I did that if he got caught, they’d kill him. Yet, here he was giving me a chance at freedom. The one doctor in the whole compound who’d treated me like the human I used to be.

            “Thank you,” I whispered.

            Ash smiled. “How do you feel about Washington?” he asked.

            “Anywhere away from here.”

            “Tomorrow,” he said, turning off the light.

            The next morning, my cage was moved to the jungle. Doctor Parcher dropped me in a clearing. Already, I saw several of the white coats loading rifles, like they were joining a hunting party. And I was the target.

            Green canopies blotted out most of the sun, while wildlife chattered around me.

            “We will open your cage doors by remote. Then you’ll have ten minutes to hide before we come find you.”

            Swallowing the lump in my throat, I nodded. God they were sick. I recognized some of the senators and rich contributors loading weapons. It was all a game to them. But we’d see who had the last laugh.

            After a few minutes, the bolt popped open and I darted into the trees. But I didn’t go far. I didn’t need to. They had no idea the extent of my abilities. A smile spread across my lips.

            Pressing myself against the tree, I watched my skin change to brown and green. And the first white coat walked right by me. He never saw me coming. Knife in hand, I took him down.

            In less than thirty minutes, I’d left the pile of carnage in the jungle and rushed to the falls, where I found Ash sitting behind the wheel of his jeep.

            Wiping the blood from my hands, I climbed in next to him and he leaned over to kiss me.

            “My little chameleon is free.”

            “So she is.” I grinned.


After commenting, be sure to stop by other YAFFER sites to see how the picture inspired them:

Mindy Buchanan

Penny Randall

Traci Kenworth

Vanessa Barger

R.M. Gilbert

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Critique Groups

As a writer I can’t even begin to talk about how great having a critique group is. And for any aspiring writers, I think it’s important to consider having a critique partner or critique group.

The group I belong to has 11 members and we all write YA. We are a by application only online crit group. This of course allows us to chat, crit, brainstorm, and share information from the comfort of our own homes. And the added bonus is that we all write for teens. So we are better suited to help one another on our journey. We “get” one another.

The importance of having other people crit your stories for you is that they bring a whole new perspective to your work. Because I, for one, know that I tend to miss things when I’m writing. Or sometimes I’m too close to the characters/plot that I’m not able to figure out what needs to be cut or added.

So having someone else come in with a fresh pair of eyes enables me to catch things I might have otherwise missed. Above that, there are times when maybe I know a scene isn’t working and I can have one of the girls read it through and they can make some suggestions.

But beyond the critiques we do, we’ve also forged some awesome friendships and we act as a support system for one another. Because let me tell you, when you start sending those queries out it’s good to have other writers to come back to and discuss things with. No matter how much your family and friends are “cool” with the writing thing, they never fully understand the time, energy, emotions, and hard work you put into the MS.

So if you don’t already have a crit group, find one. You won’t be sorry!

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