Friday, February 15, 2013

Critique Partners- What I've Learned

Since I wrote my first post on critique partners, I have gained some experience. I currently am working with three really wonderfully different writers, but we all have the same goal--to write a fantastic story. Although we are all from various backgrounds, we work well together. I have learned so much from these ladies and my story is really beginning to come together.

If you're thinking about finding a critique partner, here are just a few things you should keep in mind:

1.  Not only is it important to have a good CP, but it's doubly important to be a good CP.
     Just like any other partnership, there is to be a give and take between writers. If someone sends you  
work to critique, you should return your comments and thoughts in a timely fashion--that is unless you have a prior understanding between yourself and your partner.

2.  If you send your work to you CP, you need to be patient.
     Don't send an email to your partner every day to check up on him or her. If you don't trust that your partner will respond in adequate time, you need a new one.

3.  Don't just be critical. Everyone needs a little encouragement.
     I am not saying that you should lie to your CP, but you should never give a negative critique without a little praise. Think about how difficult it is to risk putting yourself out there and treat your partner as you'd like to be treated.

4.  Friendship is not the end goal.
     Yes, you want to meet people and possibly become friends, but that's not why you are working together. Your end goal is to write the best story you can. A CP is someone who can help that to happen. The two of you may never become best friends, but he or she should be someone you can count on and respect.

5.  Be yourself.
     Don't become someone you aren't just because you want to be liked. Trust me, it'll show.

Any other advice I forgot to mention? Please share!


  1. This is great advice, I like the reminder for us to be a good critique partner too ;)

    I haven't found a CP yet nor have I ever been one but the more I can read about it beforehand the more prepared I'll be. I have looked into boards but its hard to know who to trust and even tougher to offer being one when I've never done it, soon though, soon I'll do it.

  2. Great points! I would also add, when you receive feedback from a CP, give yourself a day before responding with questions, request for elaboration, etc. Criticism stings and it takes time to give yourself emotional distance to be objective.
    I just lost my CP to some personal stuff she's going through and the task of searching for a new one is daunting! Anybody got a good resource for finding awesome YA CP's?

  3. I found one via The Authoress CP Dating Service and another by word of mouth on Twitter. There are some other resources that Nathan Bransford has on his blog you might want to check out:) Good luck!

  4. I'm hosting an Author CP Connect event on my blog (mostly YA/MG authors at the moment)! Now running to post links to all the great CP posts you've done!