Wednesday, February 6, 2008

I haz bestest friends

One of the most difficult things about being a young writer is finding people who are both able and willing to critique. Some authors are perfect enough not to need other eyes looking at their work and asking why the hero never put down his coffee cup? Personally I NEED input on every manuscript.

New authors have asked me how to find this person or group of magical people who read for me. I never have a good answer. It’s a personal journey to find the right chemistry that helps the writing. I point that out because a critique partner has the power to hurt a writer in every way. It’s a very delicate balance.

I am so grateful I’ve found mine. But it wasn’t something I could have predicted happening. Critique partner relationships are a lot like a marriage. They require honesty, support, ruthless honesty, encouragement, repetitive honesty that is not a peronal attack, tolerance and did I mention honesty?

The critique reader can’t be afraid to point out problems. The author must be able to accept those comments in the way they were intended, as help. Also its soooo important for the critique partner to spend as much time letting the author know what works. The balance is critical.

I know of no formula or method for finding what works for a writer. All I can say is keep looking if you don’t have this type of support yet. You will find what fits.

I have to add, there is no way to thank my critique partners enough.


Kerin said...

OMG....that is the cutest picture EVER!!!!!

Gail said...

Arn't they. I lurvvvv each furry face.