critique partner

Critique Partner Meet Up!

Because my forum has some tech issues (that I am not savvy enough to fix), and because people still use it to connect with CPs… Well, I thought I’d start a post here instead, where you all can connect in the comments!

Just share the following info in your comment, read over what others have shared, and CONNECT!


Genre you like to write/read in:

Project and a short summary:

What you are looking for in a CP/beta reader:

And if you want more information on critique partners and beta readers, here are some posts I’ve written in the past.

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First Readers, Revising, & Publication

CONGRATULATIONS to everyone who not only won NaNoWriMo but who made ANY progress this month. I finished with 32,000 new words, and I’m really proud of that progress! New words are always better than no words at all. 😉

To wrap up NaNoWriMo and to help all of you forge onward with your new manuscripts, I wanted to share all the posts I’ve ever written about revising a novel, finding a literary agent, and getting traditionally published.



Revising Your Novel


First Readers



How to Get Published


Finding Literary Agents

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The Great Critique Partner Match-up!

CPMatchUpSo 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:

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!

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A Conversation between Critique Partners: Trusting Your Own Work

So this isn’t really a conversation post this time–more like me adding onto Sarah’s last post. Mostly because she touched on something I feel very strongly about:

The idea that having a critique partner somehow means you don’t trust your own writing.

Just as Sarah said in her post: that’s not true. In fact, I’m gonna go ahead and (excuse my language) call bullshit on anyone who says something like that.

Because it is just so, so, SO wrong. Having a critique partner is a sure sign that you absolutely trust your writing. In fact, it means you trust it enough to think it’s actually shareable. It means you believe in yourself enough to want to improve as a storyteller. It means you know your manuscript is not the best yet, but that you’re willing to make it better.

And above all, it means you trust your critique partner’s writing. You trust your CP and believe in him/her so fully you are actually willing to use your valuable time to read their work and offer feedback. (Read more…)

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Pub(lishing) Crawl: Maintaining Passion for a Story

So last week, Sarah J. Maas wrote a post about world-building (that I chimed in on). As she mentioned, we talk A LOT during drafting, and our methods of creation are—at least in some ways—very similar.

One thing we both agree on is this idea of a magical source of inspiration (i.e. daemon, genius, muse, collective unconscious, God, etc.). Is it really magical? That’s up to you to decide, but there’s undeniably something incredible at work. When you’ve got the Right Story, the words will pour out of you as if from somewhere (or someone) else. And when you’re not telling the Right Story or you hit a road block, the words…just…won’t……….come.

Well, the more Sarah and I write, the more we get in touch with our own creative processes—and the better we get at calling up our muses on command. Why should we have to wait for some fickle spirit to give us the right story? It should obey US, by golly! (Read more…)

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Thank you

Sorry: This post is very long. I tried to bold people’s names so they could find their own particular “thank you” more easily. I totally understand  if you don’t want to read it all; cliffnotes version: Thank you to everyone. :))

This post is one of those that’s kind of hard to write…primarily because it leads to hysterical (happy) tears that leave my keyboard damp and my nose stopped up.

But I have to say “thank you” today–on The Official Release Day of my book, I can’t happily bask in launch-glow without acknowledging ALL the people that got me here.

Guys, writing a book definitely takes a village, and there were SO MANY people that helped me get Something Strange and Deadly to where it is today. And…so many of those people didn’t make it into the book’s acknowledgments. Funnily enough, I had to write my acknowledgments a year ago–before I even met or grew close with so many of the people that helped bring this book to its close.

So, let’s start at the very beginning (a very good place to staaart. When you sing you begin with…wait…sorry. The only way I can keep from crying today is to be a goofy fool. Forgive me.). (Read more…)

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Thank YOU!

Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends.  I’m trying to celebrate here in Germany, but I don’t really have any of the usual foods.  Heck, I’ve got a chicken instead of a turkey.

All the same, I want to give thanks to all my online buddies.  I’ve met so many fantastic people — fellow readers, fellow writers, and fellow dreamers.  My blog, my twitter, and my writing-connections have grown a lot in the last year, and because of it, so has my smile.  (There’s a direct relationship between my grin and how many people I’ve befriended online.) (Read more…)

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LTWF: Gaining Some Perspective on Criticism

We talk a lot about the importance of giving critiques, the soothing of one’s ego in criticism, the why and the what of finding crit-readers. I have to points to add — two idioms tailored to the Writing Critique World.

1) Too much criticism can spoil the broth. (Read more…)

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Finding a Critique Group, Critique Partner, or Beta Reader

There are hundreds — probably even thousands — of places for you to find a crit partner… And that’s just online. You could physically find a reader (haha, physical — who actually moves in the real world anymore?) at the bookstore, your local book club, your regional RWA chapter, a community college course, a pre-established writer’s group in your area, etc. (Read more…)

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Critique Groups and Critique Partners

The purpose of a critique group or critique partner is to offer advice and insight into a writer’s WIP.  They also provide encouragement and fun!  Most writers love to talk about writing, love to talk about their work, and love to hone their craft.  Crit groups and partners offer writers the opportunity to do exactly that.

The difference between a beta reader and a crit group/partner is in the reciprocations and qualifications. Like I said in The Importance of Beta Readers, a beta reader is simply a person who reads a writer’s WIP with an eye for problems. A critique group (or critique partner) consists of people who read the writer’s WIP with an eye for problems, and in exchange the writer critiques everyone else’s WIPs.

So how do beta readers and crit groups give a good critique? Where does one even begin? (Read more…)

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