Thursday, March 11, 2010

Critique Partners....

…do you have one (or more?) If not, check out the article, "To Critique or Not to Critique" by Angela Briedenbach in the March issue of Christian Fiction Online Magazine. ACFW has a program to get writers connected in a critique loop and a monthly class to get you started.

From this editor’s POV, I really appreciate when authors are running their manuscripts by a good critique partner before sending them in to me.

If you do have great a great critique partner or critique group, leave a comment and tell us what makes your writing/editing relationship work well. Have you ever had a bad experience? What did you learn from it?

14 comments:

Jennifer Johnson said...

I have a wonderful crit partner, Rose McCauley. She and I have been critting for each other for five or more years...wow, I think it's more than five. Anyway, what I love so much about Rose is she tells me when things don't make sense or when she thinks I can add or take away stuff, but she NEVER tries to change my story OR my voice. You want a crit buddy who understands (and likes) the way you write, the flavor, the texture, the flow of it. You don't want someone to try to take away what makes you who you are.

Mary Connealy said...

I had the best online critique group ever, I found them through ACFW. I credit them with the fact that I'm published today. The things they taught me but also the encouragement to attend a writer's conference and enter contests.

Great ladies.

Aaron McCarver said...

I have been in a critique group for over 10 years. I don't know what I would do without my fellow Bards. They are really so much more than crit partners. They are truly family! We go through everything together. One rule that we have has kept us strong--if you are going to say something negative about another person's work, always say something positive about the work, too. I think this keeps us from only looking for the negatives things and helps us focus on the good things just as much. I firmly believe every writer needs a good critique partner/group.

Vickie McDonough said...

I'm in two very good critique groups now, but the first group I was in caused me to almost quit writing because of the slashing critiques. I realize now that I needed to hear all that to improve my writing, but I was so new that I wasn't ready to hear it.

My crit partners help make my books better. They find typos, but even more, they tell me what's working and what isn't. I highly recommend that you shop around until you find a critique group that is a good fit.

Waving at Sue, Carrie, and my InspyCrits buddies!!

Erica Vetsch said...

I have two lovely crit partners who are excellent at critting my mss.

I've been in a few crit groups in the past. Each had its strengths and weaknesses and helped me. I've learned that I like crit partners more than a crit group. I've found a couple of people I trust, and we exchange crits, but there's no set time or amount of work to crit. And my two crit partners don't critique each other's stuff.

It isn't for everyone, but it works for me. :)

Debra E Marvin said...

I have several critique partners. Some who go chapter by chapter with me and listen to my doubts and some who are available for those occasional "I need a quick look at this" crits.

I can't imagine going it alone!

Shannon Taylor Vannatter said...

I have three critters, though one doesn't get to participate much. I truly believe I still wouldn't be published if not for my critters.

Sharon Kirk Clifton said...

I am part of the very best critique group in the world. The Lord brought us together through ACFW. We each bring something different to the table. Members are courteous, honest, and knowledgeable. I think it is essential to find such a group, though a writer may have to try out a few to find one that's a good fit.

Thanks for addressing this subject.

Because of Christ,
Sharon

Connie Stevens said...

My crit group is the BEST! I think the greatest strength of our group is the diversity. I know I can always depend on Eileen to catch little plot or character inconsistancies, Margie is the grammar and puncuation queen, and Kim has pushed me to develop my characters better. Through her crits, I've learned to show my character's emotions more fully. Best of all, we pray for each other, laugh together, cry together, and love each other.

Carrie Turansky said...

My critique partners are a blessing and such an encouragement to me. Their suggestions have strengthened my stories and helped me become a better writer. I met them through ACFW, and look forward to seeing them each year at the conference.
Critiquing with my coauthors for our 4-in-1 collections has been very helpful too. : )

Rhonda Gibson said...

I'll chime in here too. I have several critique partners and one that I depend on very strongly. She always finds those little mistakes that I over look. I couldn't write without these lovely ladies. Thanks, Janet, Martha and Jean. You gals are the best!!

Calisa said...

My first group cp experience was not so great and I left that group wary of cps everywhere. Then I met two wonderful ladies and they renewed my faith in cps as a whole.

Now, I have a great group of women who have fun critiquing each others' work through our private loop. We have rules and guidelines and tons of respect! It definitely inspires me when I have others cheering me on and doing the same for them is great fun for me also. We can't wait for any one of us to make our first sale!!!

Frances said...

I started out in an ACFW mentor group. The mentor of the group helped me so much and she and I are both members of a wonderful 4 gal critique group. I'm also in a larger group and get a lot of good input there but I depend on my small group to keep me focused and tell me when something isn't quite working. I really don't know what I'd do without my critique partners.

Cara Putman said...

I have great critique partners/first readers. They often catch inconsistencies, let me know if a story is lagging and will catch grammatical issues, too. I couldn't write like I do without their help.