Photo courtesy Joshua Ness of Unsplash
You may be brand new to writing. You may be a Contest Diva, almost ready to publish and a veteran of several writing conferences. Or, you may be a debut author or on your tenth novel.
At any of these stages you may have found a critique partner or a critique group along the way. This relationship can be as formal as exchanging chapters every two weeks with only track comments shared back and forth, or as intimate as daily emails about your ongoing lives along with exchanging chapters and your dreams and goals.
Our lives ebb and flow and circumstances change. As do critique partners. Over the past twenty years I’ve had four partners who I spent significant blocks of years, critiquing full books back and forth, and I learned many things from each of them. We’ve each gone on to other things, become published or not.
Disclaimer: There are no personal references to any persons in these rules
So, here’s my Seven Rules of Great Critique Partners:
Why are these Seven Rules important to live by? Because they teach you how to become the professional writer that editors and agents want to work with and promote. Editors and agents don’t have time to teach you how to be respectful, be committed, meet deadlines, communicate clearly and succinctly, and understand what’s confidential and what’s not. And by the time you sign with a publishing house and an agent, you’d better understand that plagiarism and stealing someone else’s hard work is death for a writer.
Now, the next time someone approaches you to be a critique partner, I hope you’ll think of these things and be ready to think of it as a business relationship as well as a friendship. You both have a lot to learn from each other on this writing journey. Enjoy the trip!
I'm a military wife who's raised two wonderful special needs children to adulthood. We've lived all over Canada and are still on that journey. When I'm not writing, I can be found spinning, knitting, and hanging out with my dogs.