Friday, August 28, 2015

5 Reasons Critique Partners are a Must

I wasted a lot of years writing without a critique partner. In my college novel-writing class, we spent a couple weeks critiquing everyone’s writing as a group. I saw how amazingly beneficial that kind of feedback is, but there was that one critiquer. That one writer who reminded me of Simon Cowell. See, everyone else pointed out the good and bad, but this lady…she was snobby. She thought she was better than everyone else. And she called my story a “soap opera.” *Cringe* Even though the other fourteen critiquers were awesome and helpful, she’s the one who stuck in my mind and represented critique partners everywhere. 

The game changer? 2014 Pitch Wars. All of the mentors I subbed to gave me the same advice: Get a critique partner. Through one of those mentors, I found my talented, nice, helpful, funny CP, Sarah. Sarah is the bomb. (Check out her website and read her free serial story, The Two Worlds of Sydnee Cameron!) And she’s nothing like Miss Your-Story-is-a-Soap-Opera.

Finding a critique partner you trust and work well with is a must, so if you haven’t found one yet...just do it! 

Here are 5 reasons to get on that. Like, right now.  

1. Your CP will make you a better writer. You don’t know what you don’t know. Every writer has different strengths and weaknesses, and it’s not likely yours will be the same as your CP’s. That means you can help each other learn and grow like the beautiful little butterflies you are. 

2. Cheer Buddies! No one will cheer you on like your CP. Sure, your significant other, parents, and best friends might be amazing and supportive. But your CP gets it. They have the same struggles and dreams. They'll know whether you need a high five or a pint of ice cream.

3. You get to read amazing stories and call it "work." Oh, another chapter to read? Yes, please.

4. A CP keeps you on track. If you slack, they will hound you. If you make a goal, they'll ask if you kept it. They're the person who reminds you that you're a writer when you've been wandering Netflix in your PJs and messy bun for no good reason. I mean, at first they're probably like:

But after a while, they'll set you straight like:

5. More best friends! Sharing your words with someone is a vulnerable thing, so naturally, you'll be close to the people you let in to critique. Your CP will be there for you when you're stuck on a scene, and they'll be there for you when you stub your toe or regretfully win a hot dog eating contest. Yay, friends!

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