Critique partners. Love ‛em? Hate ‛em? Need ‛em? I’ve had more than a few. Some good, some bad. A few wandered off and got lost somewhere. Are you still out there? I’ve been told I need them, and I’ve been warned against using them. Here are a few things I’ve learned about the elusive and highly valued critique partner.
1. Never a friend or family member. Your sister might be a great Beta reader, but CP? No.
2. Where to find them? Mine have all come from on-line classes. Similar genres and similar goals are helpful. You want to publish your work, so find someone who also wants to publish.
3. Never take your CP’s word for a fact change to your manuscript. You’ve got Google. Check it out. If they’re right, you learned something. If they’re wrong, you dodged a bullet.
4. If you’re the one questioning a fact, send a link to support your suggestion.
5. Correct their spelling, punctuation and repetitive errors without assuming they don’t know how to spell. They’ve read their work a dozen times. Their brain sees it as it should be, not how it is. Help a CP out and just add the apostrophe and skip the lecture on contractions.
6. Always welcome suggestions, but don’t feel obliged to take them. Sometimes, a crazy idea from your CP will spark something completely different inside your head.
7. Never be upset if they don’t take your suggestion. They know where they’re going with their story.
8. If they wander off, let them go. Set them free and wish them well. Re-tweet their successes and don’t ask why, just let it go.
9. When you find one you work well with, it is magic. I love my critique partners, and I know my work is much better, fuller, and cleaner because of their efforts.
10. Appreciate their hard work. A well done critique shows, with lots of corrections, suggestions and questions. In return, read their work—twice—and be an advocate for their success.
I know I wouldn’t have the success I’ve enjoyed without my critique partners. A shout out to C.A. Jamison and Jodi Hale for their unflagging support and tough love.
My latest offering is a short story available at all ebook sellers: The Kid in Black.
Vengence or Love?
Nell Grant plans her revenge, but her dreams are haunted by a passionate stranger. Can Marshal Sam Kline tame her wild beauty and make her dream of love come true?
Connect with C. Marie at any of the links below: