10 Tips On Choosing A Critique Partner

My crit partner, Misty Lenz Waters, rocks. Hands down – I couldn’t have found anyone better for the job.
We came across each other about a year ago when she commented on my blog post about Show & Tell, (which she helps me with daily, LOL), and after reading her blog, I remember thinking – “I really like this chic.”
I not only love reading her stories, but we have lots in common. We like the same music. The same books. The same TV shows and movies. 
And we were both able to cope with constructive criticism of our work, which is a big deal. She makes me think. She makes me work harder. She shows me how a reader would view a scene. She points out any little detail I might have missed. 
Bottom line – Her feedback is critical. 
Without it, the pieces of this trilogy would not come together anywhere as clear and well thought out, and this novel would be driving me absolutely crazy ๐Ÿ™‚
If you don’t have a crit partner, I highly suggest you try to find one. A good one. One that fits you. 
Choosing a CP is a different process for everyone because we all expect different things, but I think the following tips are true for all:
  1. Look for someone who can’t just tell you what is wrong, but why.
  2. Look for someone who is strong where you are weak and vice versa.
  3. Look for someone whose own writing you enjoy.
  4. Look for someone with whom you have things in common, especially genre. If they don’t care for paranormal, and that’s what you write, they won’t be a good judge of the genre or what that audience would want to read.
  5. Look for someone who you trust to give an honest critique. 
  6. Look for someone who wants a mutually constructive relationship. Give & Take.
  7. Look for someone who not only notes the problem areas but also comments on the good.
  8. Look for someone who is willing to show you what sucks. You don’t need a cheerleader, you need a critique partner.
  9. Look for someone who understands that their opinion is their opinion and won’t be offended if you don’t agree with a certain comment. The two of you won’t always agree and ultimately this is your book and you make the final call. However…if you disagree more often than naught, you need to think about why that’s so.
  10. Look for someone you can help. Remember…Give and take. If they put the time in, so should you. If they go the extra mile, you should do the same. 
Now…all this is considering that you are ready to receive an honest critique. I was scared. I admit it. I don’t usually take criticism well. But there is a difference in Constructive Criticism and just plain Criticism. Constructive Criticism should help and guide. Criticism is just making negative comments (see Tip #1).
Tomorrow on the Writer’s Resource I plan on providing a list of links to sites that have been set up as crit partner meet-ups. If you’re looking for someone, feel free to post here in the comments or come visit me tomorrow and check out all the fabulous links.
Best of Luck Everyone & Happy Writing!!!
XOXO,
Charissa

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17 Comments

  1. Great post! As Misty's other crit partner, I agree completely! ๐Ÿ˜€

    Personalities really are critically in finding the right Beta Balance.

  2. Thanks for this post. I'm looking for a crit partner. As I read through your list of traits that make a good crit partner, I kept thinking, that's all well and good, but how does someone find such a person? Will come back tomorrow to check out your list of crit-partner meet-up sites.

  3. I don't know what I'd do without critique partners and not just the same ones. Finding fresh eyes for my opening chapter or the the first few is needed too.

  4. @Laura Pauling Laura, I agree. I have a hard time opening myself up to lots of opinions all at one because I'm afraid the conflicting opinions would make me want to jab my eyes out, LOL. My plan is to get this rewrite nailed and then begin seeking those fresh eyes. Thanks for commenting ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. I have to say, I freakin' LUCKED OUT finding/meeting/stalking, first Tracy, and then Charissa in the blogs and we just kind of fell into the critting thing. I've worked with a lot of writers and it just doesn't work out. It's important to remember that's it's not a personal attack. Past that, just go with your gut. If you feel they're right, then they are. If not, they aren't. After all this time, I actually look forward to the girls tearing my chapters up b/c when it's all said and done, I have brilliance on 8 1/2 by 11 pages. They sparkle like Edward in the sun:) Couldn't do it without them!

  6. My three critique partners are just that awesome.
    And thank you, Charissa! You were follower number one thousand today, and I really appreicate it. I so wanted to cross that number by the time Wednesday's special post went live. Thank you!