Second, I want to get in a plug for a fantastic critiquing event. Starting in June and running all summer is the Speculative Fiction Summer Critiquing Marathon at AQC. (You'll need to petition Clippership to give you the password.) I've mentioned AQC last week, but this week I want to shout about the critiquing marathon. It's a fantastic opportunity for writers of speculative fiction (fantasy, science fiction, horror both YA and adult) to get chapter-by-chapter feedback. Before you head into the query trenches, you'll want to polish those chapters to a glowing shine, and the marathon is the perfect way to get it done.
All you need is a AQC profile and a finished and cleaned-up (the best you can, no one is perfect) story. Each week you post one chapter in pdf format. There are usually between ten and twelve people participating each week, so that is a dozen different voices telling you what they think and making suggestions. With each critique comes a vote, up or down, for whether you can move ahead to share the next chapter in your story. If there are more no votes than yes, you have to rework the last chapter and try again.
The Marathon has all ranges of talent, from beginning writers to very experienced, so don't be afraid if you are just starting. I promise the crew won't bite. Not at first anyway.
In return, you give the other participants your feedback on their work. And your vote on whether they can continue. It's an amazing way to meet new critique partners and learn what you didn't know you didn't know, if you get my drift. Plus, you'll develop the thick skin you need to query.
So if you write speculative fiction, drop by and ask Clippership to admit you. You won't regret it. I'll be there. Any questions? Leave them in the comments.