Answering the

Laura Pepper Wu is the author of Wow! Glowing Bride in 30 Days and The Stress-Free Guide to Leaving Japan. She’s also the co-creator of the writing forum.

If you’re a creative writer (age 16 or older) who doesn’t belong to a critique group, let me recommend It’s a straightforward group with a generous attitude, and they have plans to work with gentlemen who critique before long.

Ladies Who Critique beta

Obtaining unbiased feedback on their manuscripts is the step aspiring authors skip more often than any other crucial phase of their career development. I’m more likely to encounter a writer with an online platform than one who has obtained forthright criticism and then revised his or her work before contacting me about representation.

This week, and again in January, I’ll be answering a few questions from members of who want to know more about working with a literary agent. Take a look at their blog and add your comments.

If you don’t happen to find the perfect critique partner for your subgenre over in Laura’s forum, then you can always check the list of online critique groups here at Treated & Released. No excuses. It’s a sensible new year’s resolution for a serious writer.

A novelist’s guidebook

Thriller writer J.A. Konrath has organized the information posted on his blog—about writing, book publishing, marketing, and promotion—and made it available as a free ebook. The Newbie’s Guide to Publishing Book can be downloaded in PDF.

Along with scores of other tips in his guide, Konrath suggests four good methods to help you edit your own writing and outlines a critiquing worksheet used to determine whether a story is publishable. If you’re serious about writing fiction, I urge you to get a copy of his ebook. Konrath is frank, and he speaks from experience. Here’s just one example of his observations about making a living as a writer:

I’ve talked money with a few close writing friends, and I’ve learned something pretty shocking; there’s no rhyme, reason, or sense as to who gets paid what and why.