The Great Critique Partner Match-up!
So I know that a lot of you out there are searching for The One–that person who makes your heart sing. Whose emails make your stomach flip. Who just gets you.
I don’t mean The Romantic One (duh!). I mean The Critique Partner One!
For me, critique partners and beta readers are invaluable. Basically, I am the writer that I am today ONLY because of my CPs. Getting their feedback and giving them my own feedback has taught me more about writing than ANYTHING else. Period.
To help YOU meet your own magical someone, I thought I’d revive the CP Match-up Forum. You guys can share your info, read about other potential CPs’ projects, and then go from there.
Here’s what you can share (keep in mind that you’ll need a forum account to leave a message):
Name: This should be straightforward enough. 😉 Feel free to use an online handle if you’d rather not share your name.
Genre you like to write/read in: Also, pretty straightforward. If you need help pinpointing a genre, feel free to ask me!
Project and a short blurb: Give us a 1-2 paragraph summary–or even 1-2 sentences is okay.
What you are looking for in a CP/Buddy: Do you want someone to give you surface, big picture feedback? Do you want someone to get down to the nitty-gritty line level? Are you looking for an alpha reader who will read chapters as you write them? Or do you want a beta reader who reads an entire manuscript once it’s all revised? Get specific about what sort of partnership you’re seeking and how LONG a relationship (i.e. you only need feedback for one novel or you’d like this partnership to continue onto future projects).
Contact information: Give us your email/twitter handle/whatever–just make sure you’re reachable!
If a project sounds interesting to you, then contact the writer! I suggest exchanging a 5-10 pages to start–just to make sure you both like the other person’s writing AND like/appreciate the person’s style of critiquing.
**ADDED: One reader suggested posting your pages in a google doc or blog post and simply linking to those pages in the forum. That way you can go ahead and skim each other’s pages for The One. I think this is a great idea!
Keep in mind, that it might take a few tries, so feel free to reach out to more than one person. 🙂 If you’re only sharing a few chapters, you can pretty quickly get a vibe for what you do/don’t connect with.
If the style of critique (or manuscript) doesn’t feel right for you, then simply say something along the lines of:
I really appreciate your feedback, but I’m not totally sure our visions for storytelling align. I think you’ve made some great points about X and Y, but I’m not totally sure I see myself going in that direction with this story. Rather than waste your time, I will probably try to find a different reader. Thank you SO much!
To wrap up this post, here are links to all the posts I’ve done on critique partners and first readers in the past:
- Pushing Your Writing to the Next Level, part 2 (a Misfits & Daydreamers issue)
- First Readers and Critique Partners
- The Importance of Beta Readers
- Critique Groups and Critique Partners
- Finding a Crit Group or Beta Reader
- Gaining Some Perspective on Criticism
- A Conversation Between CPs: Maintaining Passion for a Story
- A Conversation Between CPs: In Defense of Sharing Ideas & Stories
- A Conversation Between CPs: Trusting Your Own Work
Now off you go!! Shoo, shoo! Get ye to the forum and start meeting fellow writers!!
Oh, and feel free to tweet about this so we can spread the word and draw in more potential CPs!
September 15, 2014 @ 7:31 pm
Hi Susan, I like your comments about what to consider in looking for a critique partner and I think your suggestion for follow up if things don’t work out is fantastic. One thing to maybe add is whether folks are looking for a partner for a particular project vs. long term. Another is how often you’d like to share work with one another.
If any writers form groups and are looking for an online platform to make running the group easier, check out Inked Voices. I created it for critique groups to exchange manuscripts in small, private groups. It has deadlines and email notifications built in. The tour will give you a little more https://www.inkedvoices.com/tour.
September 15, 2014 @ 11:45 pm
Ah yes! I was trying to imply that in my “explain what you’re looking for” but obviously I wasn’t clear enough! I’ll go add that in now… 🙂
September 15, 2014 @ 11:13 pm
Hi Susan, this is a great post and super helpful for anyone looking for a critique partner. Beta readers are really valuable as you mentioned.
I’m still working on the latest round of revisions for my manuscript, so I probably won’t be able to participate in the critique partner match-up yet, but I’ll be sure to post this on Twitter and FB so some of my writer friends can join. 🙂
September 15, 2014 @ 11:45 pm
Thanks, Rika! That’s really nice of you! And, when you reach a point that you DO want/need a CP, you know where to look! 😉
September 17, 2014 @ 8:46 pm
Thank you so much for making this available! I’ve always been jealous of how amazing your CP relationships are, so I’m crossing my fingers that I’ll find a couple great ones. Out of all the forums and ways I’ve tried reaching out to find CPs, this has by far been the most successful for me!
September 17, 2014 @ 11:32 pm
Aw you’re so welcome!!! It’s definitely not EASY to find The One. I went through, like, 4 or 5 CP relationships before finally settling into my current groove. It took a few years, but it was so worth continuing to search and reach out!
September 18, 2014 @ 3:40 am
Thank you for doing this. I found already one possible CP already 🙂
September 18, 2014 @ 1:36 pm
Eeee! Hooray!! I’m so glad to hear that!! <3
October 10, 2015 @ 12:35 am
it looks like it’s been a while sense anyone posted here but I’m desperate and am willing to give this a shot anyway with the slightest hope that someone might see it =)
my name is Becca and I love the written word. My favorite genre to read is romance but I love to write YA fiction with dark backgrounds (weird right) here is a small explanation for one of my books
As a child Abner dreamt of lakes of fire; fortunately
he knew they were only dreams.
When horns grow out of Abner’s head, the past his
father had hidden from him comes to light. Abner learns him, and his twin
sister, Jezebel, are not human; they’re the children of an angel and a demon.
Learning that their mother is a demon, it doesn’t seem
like things could get any worse. Then Jezebel is told by her father, the only
way to save Abner from becoming a full demon is for her to kill him. Abner
accepts his fate, but Jezebel is unable to come to terms with hers. Incapable
of killing her brother, Jezebel takes her own life to spare his. With his
sister gone, Abner begins to change for the worst and falls into the grasp of
his demon mother whose only wish is for him to give in to the demon within
With Abner’s mother’s demonic influence, Abner’s
angelic light begins to fade, and he becomes more like her. Abner struggles to
free himself from his mother, but the guilt he feels over his sister’s death
weakens him, making escape seem impossible. Abner’s only hope becomes a blind
girl who reminds him of his sister.
if you’re interested please email me at email@example.com
lots of love, Rebecca G