When Do You Need a Critique Partner?

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Hello Lovelies and welcome back to the blog.

Today we are talking all about critique partners. When you’re rewriting your manuscript and figuring out how to make your second draft even better than your first, sometimes it’s not enough to work on your own. As a writer, it’s hard to read your own story with an impartial, critical eye. If you feel you’ve reached a wall with your writing, where you either can’t figure something out on your own, or you think it’s as good as you can make it by yourself, it might be time to consider looking for a critique partner.

Where to Look for Critique Partners

Schools and Libraries

Asking around where writers tend to congregate can be an excellent place to start looking for groups of writers that you previously hadn’t been aware of. Even if the group meets elsewhere, teachers and librarians tend to know about such groups and can sometimes help you to make the connections you need to get in touch.

Local Organizations

Your local and state writing groups are great places to look for critique partners. If you have a group that meets frequently, they may be sharing their work and getting feedback on a regular basis. Ask your regular group if they have meetings specifically for critique groups, or if they would be willing to hear something you’ve written and give you some direction on your piece of work at the next meeting.

Online

One of your best options may be one of the many online writing resources and communities that exist. Some of these sites and groups charge fees to use, while others are free. Look for a critique resource that offers the degree of personal attention and interaction, specialization, professionalism, and personality you’re comfortable with.

What to Look for in a Critique Partner

 Writers

Critique partners should first and foremost be writers. They should, if at all possible, be writing in the same genre that you are writing in, but failing that, they should at least be familiar with the genre conventions. 

At or Above Your Skill Level

Ideally, the writers you choose should be at or above your current level of skill. You will get inferior feedback from writers who are less skilled at writing than you are, and it will not help to improve your writing.

Specificity

Look for someone who can be specific about what is not working in your manuscript. The more specific they can be, the better it will help you to move forward with figuring out how it can be fixed.

Discussion Questions

  1. When do you decide you are ready for a critique partner?
  2. Where have you found critique partners online and in person?
  3. Do you prefer an online critique group, an in person critique group, or do you not have a preference at all?
  4. Do you ask for specific feedback from your critique group or do you want more generalized impressions?

Click this link to hear this blog post as a podcast with your favorite podcasting app!

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