Do you work with critique partners? How did you find your crit pals, and what influence have they had on your work?
Because of this, I've composed a list of what to look for and what to avoid.
- Get involved with people who "write for fun." There's nothing wrong with that. But if you're serious about getting published, then you're going to need crit partners who are serious about getting published. I've worked with several "writing for fun" crit partners in my early days and they either join crit groups for the social aspects or lose interest and quit after a couple of sessions.
- Realize that not all personality types are compatible. I used to be in a crit group with a highly defensive author who would lash out at all offered suggestions. The entire group spent half the meeting arguing instead of critting. Understand that, if something is not benefitting you, or if it's just not working out, it's okay to quit. Crit partners can be like spouses and it may take you awhile to find "the perfect match."
- Take a crit personally. The point of a critique is to point out your weaknesses so that you may grow from them and becom a better writer. But in the same turn, if a critique partner is being critical without offering ways for you to improve/grow, if there crit consists mostly of "I didn't like this," then it's time to look for a new partner.
- Look for crit partners in places like online writing websites, writing groups such as the SCBWI and RWA, and online meet-up sites. Remember, it's okay to try out a few crit partners or several! Personally, I have approximately ten people that I exchange work with on a regular basis. And each of them is unique and valuable in the advice that they offer me.
Have a great Thursday.