Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Critique Partnership

I put it off for years --- having a critique partnership with a group of writers. Writing has been a solitary experience, that is until I began making connections through groups like ACFW and His Writers Yahoo Group. I tried once before, and was assigned to a group through ACFW. It didn't work. The apsiring writers in the group all wrote contemporary fiction, and had difficulty connecting to the historical genre.

Last week, I did connect with two fantastic writers and I am blessed to have them as critique partners. I am halfway finished writing Beside Two Rivers, and recently went back through a hard copy and worked on revisions. My partners have critiqued through the first 3 chapters, and their insight has been incredibly helpful, and the novel is now emerging into a polished piece of quality fiction.

If you do not have a couple critique partners, consider it. You want critique partners you really knit with and that write in your genre. Sooner of later you will find each other. Before jumping into it, get to know the writers, consider the quality of their work, if they are published or not.

My critique partners have:

1. Motivated me

2. Helped me work every day

3. Helped me write faster and tighter

4. Challenged me to bring out my characters

5. Motivated me to write in deep pov

Side note: I joined Facebook last week, and I'm a little sceptical of the whole thing, especially with the media attention that has been out their the last few days.


Ane Mulligan said...

Rita, I agree fully. My crit partners have forced me (whipped me) into shape as a writer and encouraged me to reach for my best by not allowin gme to settle for mediocre. :)

And I'll come find you on Facebook. :)

Jody Hedlund said...

Hi Rita,

I'm just in the process of venturing out of my "solitary" writing experience. I recently started a blog and am in the process of signing up for a critique group through ACFW. I checked that I only wanted to be a part of a group focused on historical fiction. But after reading your blog today, I'm wondering how you connected with others outside ACFW to form a critique group. I know such a group would be an incredible benefit, but am just not sure at this point how to form one. Any suggestions?

Thank you! Jody Hedlund

Jessica said...

Critique partners are great, a wonderful support I think. But it's best to choose wisely.
I have crit partners with ACFW and we're just getting to know each other. I also have writer friends who offer another set of eyes when I need them (and I offer mine too). LOL
Anyways, facebook sent a message that they changed the rules back to their old policy. Did you get that?
Great post.

Bonnie Toews said...

Rita, I too am not sure what to make of Facebook. It can absorb a lot of time and yet it does seem to make fast connections for networking. Just realized I'm behind on checking out your "inspirational tips." Reaching out to partners sounds like another great idea I have not tried, but I'm not sure where to start. Life is getting in the way again with problems in the nursing home and Wally's sliding health. Hugs....

Nancy J. Parra said...

Hi Rita,

Nice post. I've worked alone then with CP's and now alone again. Having friends to encourage you, find plot holes, bounce ideas off of is important. Having people you can trust your tender writing with is also important.

Jody- I've had partners who were nonhistorical and they can bring a fresh eye to the work-

It really is all about finding the right people for you- people who encourage as well as (As Ane said) whip you into shape.