But before I get too buried in my writing I'd like to acknowledge my latest kick-arse critic partner and my new copy editor.
Aimee L. Salter and I met on Twitter when she put a call out for a critique partner. I had just finished a major write for a revise and resubmit for an editor and I wanted to make sure that I'd addressed the editor's notes. Aimee was one of the best critique partners I've had and her notes, while only requiring subtle edits to the manuscript, made a huge difference to the flow and impact of the story. She has a great eye for characterisation, plot flow and what will gel with a YA audience.
The other person who helped out was my mum. Retirement gives her some spare time and having read all the various versions of the story she was the perfect person to give it the final once over.
I know that a lot of new writers are apprehensive about sharing their stories with others, but if you network you can make the right contacts to help you find people who are eager to help out a fellow writer and are trustworthy.
Not only do you get great feedback on your manuscript, but getting to see another person's writing style can help improve your own. I really enjoyed the swap with Aimee. Her story was fantastic and I hope it finds a home with an agent or a publisher soon.