The Chemistry of Critique Partners

The elusive and rare critique partner. Nearly impossible to find in the wild but possible to create? Let’s experiment, can a good beta reader or writer friend become an excellent critique partner?

You’ve heard the old adage to have a friend you must be a friend?

Same goes for critique partners. Best place to start is to learn to be a good one yourself. Not only will you recognize good ones when you see them but you can coach others and foster the type of partner you are looking for.

I’ve stumbled upon a few partners, usually starting out as a beta reader. How do you know you’ve found a good match?

  1. They get your style. Meaning they like how you write, your narrative voice.
  2. They don’t try to change your style but do suggest improvements.
  3. They push you to think critically about your work.
  4. They don’t come off as mean or uncaring.
  5. They have a balance, meaning they are not a yes man or a nay sayer.
  6. They read and/or write what you’re writing and understand the market.

You may find a couple folks for different areas you write in. For example, I use one critique partner (CP) for my young adult stories and another for picture books.

A two way street method seems to be what works for me. I need a critique partner that I can invest in too. Meaning we swap stories and get as much feedback as we give. Use small pieces of writing to start, get a feel for each other, and then make a decision to be critique partners.

Iron sharpens iron. Find your iron in other critique partners, slay your edits together, and enjoy experimenting with words along the way.

A shout out to one my critique partners, Janelle, check out her blog at Invent Your Story.

Happy Questing!

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