Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Wed. & Writing: Critique Partners & Why You Need One

Critique Partners & Why You Need One

The most obvious reason is so that you have someone who truly feels your to talk you out of eating the whole gallon of Haagen Daz after receiving yet another rejection. But there are more reasons, complicated reasons, BETTER reasons. Like who else is going to read your manuscript 13 times in the course of one year? OMG that's more than once a month. I love each and every person reading this today, if for no other reason than you are reading my blog. But I don't love anyone enough to read their ms 13 times this year! Except of course my critique partner. But she has to read my ms that many times!

But the truth is a good critique partner knows your story as well as you do. They know as much about your characters as you do. They're a go to person when there is a plot or character issue there is just no getting around. They're tons of help when it comes to writing queries because they know the plot just that well.  They're a warm body to go through rejections with and a support system when you have a story that is just giving you hell.

But finding a good CP is like finding a spouse. You don't usually marry your first boyfriend, and you don't always connect on your first swap. I think sometimes you will find CPs in unlikely places. My cp writes contemp that's a mix of romance and action. I write paranormal romance strong on the romance. When I looked for a cp, I thought I was looking for someone who wanted to run away with Edward Cullen as much as I did, and who couldn't read without magic. Not true. We both write romance, but our ideas of a hero are completely different. I can't honestly pinpoint what she's looking for in a hero because her dream guy is that undreamy to me. But I can tell you that I like guys like Edward Cullen protective and well aware that I'm priority number one. She finds this insane. Still our combination works and our writing is improving at about the same time. We learn about the industry together too. So like in marriage, opposites attract.

A year into this, we've went from just editing to querying together to  now we brainstorm our individual next books together. People say that agents are like a business partner, and I don't know. I can't say, because I don't have one, but I would say my CP is like a business partner. I consult all major writing decisions (even the blog) and sometimes life decisions(not to say u have to be bffs w/ ur cp but it does help) with her.

When you start working with someone who understands and appreciates your work, you'll grow leaps and bounds in your writing. If you don't have a CP go forth and date around. Start with 50 page swaps. Trust me, it works.


  1. Great Post, Beth. I totally agree about CPs. They are a great asset to your writing career. My current CP - not my first - and I work great together. We just clicked right away. We've revised our first chapter so many times amongst us that it's a running joke now. But it's cool. And that understanding from us is what makes it sooo difficult to find, but so awesome when you do. Not everyone, as you pointed out, can do that. My CP rocks!!!

  2. Hi, Beth. You've got a blog award for this post!