Friday, September 16, 2011

The Search for the Right Critique Partner: Part 1

Picking a critique partner might be one of the most important decisions you will make in your writing. Those extra eyes can improve your work. They can see plot holes and character flaws that you miss. With just the right amount of support and advice, a good critique partner can help you make your story fabulous.
What makes a good critique partner?
The answer is different for everyone. Each writer has different styles and needs. Here is a list of things to consider when searching for the right critique partner.

Genre
If you write epic fantasy and your critique partner writes romance, there might be issues. While good writing is good writing, there is certain conventions in the different genres. If your critique partner loathes your genre, they might not be as helpful as they could be.

Critiquing Style
Styles of critiquing vary from person to person. Some like to point out what is wrong and leave it at that. Others prefer to make suggestions on how to fix it. This depends on your personal preference.

Time Commitment
Critiquing should happen at a pace that you are comfortable with. You don't want to have a mismatched level of time commitment. Either waiting forever to hear back from your critique partner or feeling overwhelmed and rushed to get their work back is frustrating. To avoid headaches, find someone who wants to critique at the same pace as you do.

What else do you consider in searching for a critique partner?

Tune in next time for advice on where to find a critique partner. Happy writing!

3 comments:

  1. All good things, thank you for sharing. Having the right critique partner can go a long way to polishing your story.

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  2. I actually have several since I belong to an online critique group and have just recently found an in-person group. It's nice having a variety of readerly types because what strikes one won't strike another, and their input can balance each other so I find what I need somewhere in between. If that makes sense.

    For example, I've got a character in one WIP who's had some tough things happen to him when he was younger. As a result he's kind of immature in some ways while being mature beyond his years in others. One female critiquer didn't "get" him because of that. But another critiquer (a guy) thought his seemingly contradictory behaviors totally fit. As he described it, "He's a guy." Coming from a guy, it has more credibility than a chick trying to figure a guy out. lol

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  3. I'm on the journey myself. I will be watching for the next installment. :)

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