Friday, January 4, 2013

Critique Partners 101

About a month ago, I received the name of a writer who has become my very first critique partner. This is not the first time that I have allowed someone else to read and/or critique my writing; however, I've never had just one person to send my material to whenever I needed some advice. 

Admittedly sending my writing to someone else to rip apart causes me a huge amount of anxiety and it  has not been an easy thing to do. I mean, I may act tough but truly my skin is still relatively thin. Luckily, although my goal is to become a published author some day, I am not focused on writing to become famous. I write because I want--no need--to. 

One thing that I have realized after my first round with my critique partner, is that every piece of advice you get from another writer needs to be weighed carefully. Some of the items that have been suggested I change, are things that other writers have told me are a strength in my WIP. That being said, critique partners are a valuable part of the writing process. A good one should challenge you to write your best. 

Want to see what another YA Stands blogger has to say about critique partners? Check out this post by our very own Tonya!

Since I am relatively new to the writing world, I didn't really know until a month ago just how to find a CP. I thought that there are probably others who are also struggling with this, so I have a few resources and ideas where to begin.  

BLOGS: 

Nathan Bransford- This fabulous writer has created a blog containing such a wealth of information, especially a board where you can post an ISO for a critique partner.

Miss Snark- Authoress often runs contests (especially well-known ones like Baker's Dozen Agent Auction) and has created a fun new "Critique Partner Dating Service." If you haven't hear of her, I highly suggest you take a little time to check out her blog.

TWITTER and FACEBOOK:

Seeing that there is a wealth of talent out there, asking people for recommendations via Twitter and/or Facebook may help you to find just the right person to become your partner. Just be aware that there are some strange people out there and you have to be careful!

WRITING ORGANIZATIONS:

SCWI- Becoming a member allows both published and unpublished authors substantial benefits like professional publications and conferences.

** My question to our YA Stands followers is this: how many critique partners is best and where did you find yours?

7 comments:

  1. These are some great places to find critique partners. Thanks for the list--I'm going to have to check them out!

    Before I started writing YA, I wrote a different genre and had three critique partners. It was kind of a lot at some points, but it was great to get advice from three different perspectives. It was also helpful when deciding what to keep or change or get rid of. If more than one partner commented on it, I really paid attention, but if only one did, I took it a little lighter and more subjectively.

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  2. Thanks for the great list. I think two critique partners is good--along with two or three beta readers.

    I definitely think more than one CP is necessary,for those times when you are unsure whether to keep or change something. I wouldn't have more than three though, because then it's too many opinions and it starts to get a little overwhelming. :)

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  3. I've had the same group of three CPs for several years. Since the founding of our group, we've all become published. The thing I like best about having three is that each person brings something different to their feedback. One is better with the overall picture, one is better with line edits, etc. I agree with the others above that it's good to see what points all the CPs agree on. I don't have a beta, but I think that would be useful.

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  4. I have two that I trust implicitly, one of them I met on Twitter and the other was in an online writing class with me. I also have a couple beta readers for big picture type stuff.

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  5. Critique Circle is another web site worth checking. I know several CPs who've met through there. (www.critiquecircle.com)

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  6. Thanks for the insights on a timely topic. I have been considering casting a net for a CP myself for my new MG fantasy novel, but I think it must be something that almost needs to happen naturally, like a friendship that gradually develops over time. You have given some great links that I will investigate further. If anyone reading this is searching for a CP themselves, feel free to check out my blog and let me know if you think we might jive. (Excuse the shameless self-seeking here, but it seems in this world it is not only inevitable, but necessary.)
    Many thanks to YA Stands for yet another great topic and blog!
    jillhaugh.blogspot.com

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