Tuesday, November 3, 2009
I have many things I’m grateful for in my everyday life. In my writing life the thing I’m most thankful for is my critique partners. I couldn’t have succeed at writing or been published if it wasn’t for the people that have suffered (many times that is what it was) through critiquing my material.
I’m one of those writers that have to work, and work hard at their craft. Reading my rough drafts can make driving down a dry creek bed in a low slung sports car look easy. After editing my material my critique partners earn their return critique and more. It does lower my guilt factor if I show my appreciation by critiquing their work. It is a give and take.
I need three levels of critique (sad, I know). The first time is when I take my stuff to a critique group I meet with each week. Each person in this group has a niche in writing that they are particularly good at. Their critiques give me a well rounded view of my story. They don’t hesitate to tell me what they think. And I like that.
My second critique partner is someone I send my material to by email. She is great at pointing out places that don’t make sense, telling me to add deeper point of view, or asking what is the motivation here? She always makes me work hard to make my writing better.
My third level is someone who is writing in the line I hope to be published in. This person helps me make sure I’m hitting the alpha male character on the nose, that I have the characters going to a glamorous setting, or making the dialogue work as it should.
Some of these critique partners move up and down the levels as I need help with a story, often looking at it more than once.
You’ve heard it said that it takes a village to raise a child, for me it takes a large critique posse to birth a book.
I’m already working on my list of people to thank when I win the Golden Heart or the Rita (people have to dream). My critique posse is large enough that I may have to put them in alphabetical order in order that no one feels slighted. I promise to share every name if I’m ever given the chance.
The point of this post is no writer is an island. Having critique partners is my number one crafting advice to any writer. If you don’t have a critique partner(s)/posse you need to find one. Let me know. I’ll help you. Or you can join my posse.
The point is: I’m thankful for each and every critique partner I have. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU.
Do you have a posse or a sidekick you critique with?