I think everyone needs a critique partner, even non-writers. Okay, those who don’t know the thrill of filling blank pages with words might call them BFFs, but it means the same.
Someone you trust with a treasured possession.
Someone who knows your deep secrets, hopes and fears.
Someone who will be there for you at your most vulnerable or when floating high.
A critique partner (CP) is invaluable in improving your writing skills. Whether it be craft issues, plot problems or plain grammar your CP is emotionally removed from your story, they’re a second set of eyes.
But like any relationship it’s a two way street. Support needs to go both ways. You need to express clearly to your CP your expectations, what you’d like them to do for you when reading your work and understand you both have deadlines, family and a life beyond writing. As for the CP, you need to be kind, highlight the positive, be constructive (not just critical), be helpful and reliable. And you must accept your carefully worded comments might get thrown out the window.
If you don’t have one, get one – I’d hate to be travelling this journey alone.
Do you have a critique partner? How have they helped you with your journey?
Romance Writers of Australia have a critique partner scheme, so if you’re looking for a CP, visit http://www.romanceaustralia.com/members/critpartners.asp (you need to be an RWA member).