PlainsPen: YA Speculative

Hello Crit Collective:

I write YA, mainly fantasy and scifi. I read/crit all types of YA, MG, and also genre SciFi and Fantasy.

I’m looking to find additional crit partners to exchange entire completed manuscripts. To find a good match, I’d prefer to exchange chapters or about 2-3k words initially. I have several completed projects, but am working on new ones as well.

I’d be able to start exchanging any time. I’m open to different ways of exchanging, but would crit up to 10k words in a typical week.

The first page or so of my work in progress follows:

Before that night, two long years ago, I might have considered myself a well-adjusted girl. If I couldn’t see it or hear its echoes, it wasn’t really there.

Mom and I had been chasing each other around the grove, soaring in and out of the branches, stealing bananas from each other. My wings billowed full in the moonlight. Darwin, my pet bat, couldn’t decide if he was going to chase or be chased, so he fluttered in and out between us.

Dad and Chadrick hovered overhead, their shoulders flapping in unison. The thrum of the two chirans’ massive wings echoed down the valley. They drew bowstrings easily with their legs, launching volleys of arrows. Rippling muscles and sweat glistening on their dark skin. They looked every bit like chiran soldiers: powerful, brave, relentless. Of course, Dad would say we’re all soldiers—so our family played discretely, unseen by our people.

The grove was empty tonight, so if we wanted a break while the moon was still up, we did. Other times work lasted all night and well into the daytime.

Mom dove out of nowhere and snatched a half-eaten banana from my fingers.

“Hey!” I screamed and then laughed, pumping my wings to follow her over a canyon. I clicked twice and the echo returned her speed and position. Darwin clicked behind me, riding my draft. Mom’s powerful strokes looked a bit like Darwin’s, the way her shoulders and elbows whipped her wing tips, but a tiny bat’s fluttering is nothing compared to the sleek confidence of someone athletic like Mom.

I leaned and swayed. Sometimes I’d torque my wings and pull a tight spiral, just to feel gravity reaching for me and losing.

Ananti, the mountain where we lived, peaked up behind the grove. Banana trees grew in the hundreds at this elevation. The terrain was rocky, but from this point down, you’d find less stone and more grass.

Higher up, spires and boulders ruled the landscape, solid and dependable like us, the chirans who lived among them.

I’d have caught Mom in another few seconds, but then it happened. My vision flashed blue. Vibrant strings crisscrossed the world before me. Millions and millions of threads exploded into the vastness of the sky.

Filaments carpeted the ground, like some tangled blue fungus. Long rays skewered me. I swerved to avoid them, lost momentum, and fell. I thought the tangle would catch me, but I plunged through the web of nothing.

Slamming into rock, I lost my breath. My vision darkened. I couldn’t inhale. Strings packed my throat.

Darwin landed on me, his little bat face peering through a cloud of filaments. Tiny fibers even sprang from his eyes and teeth. Finally, I sucked in air. Mom clicked and landed in front of me. She sliced the fibers like shadows. Her wings engulfed me. Her fingers brushed my face.

“Sanger,” she whispered. “Are you OK? Baby, talk to me.” She caressed the point of one of my ears.

Finally, moonshine broke through the cloud of strings. The mountain came back. The gravel under me pricked.

Interested in working with someone along much the same lines. Give me a hot minute to post my info, and you can see if we might be a match!

Seems like there should be a way to message you outside of posting, but I can’t find it. Please e-mail me at I’d love to swap chapters!

Chuckling robustly over the fact that both of the only two people on the site at the moment are from Kansas. :laughing:

1 Like

Hi both!

I’m new to the site and looking for crit partners for my first manuscript project I am working on at the minute. I haven’t created my profile just yet but I also write in the fantasy genre and would love to have some feedback! Is there room for another crit partner here?

All the best,

This is indeed hilarious, @fionnabhar! It’s a big world and a small world at the same time. Did you guys end up connecting? Let us know if there’s anything we can do to facilitate!

We are currently about waist deep in each other’s novels!

That is awesome! We’re so happy that you were able to connect!

Ack! Just now saw this. I’m game for whatever. Heads up that my MS is a hot mess. Paul is being very kind and patient with me. :slight_smile: