Just where do you find them? How valuable can they be to your writing and do you really need them? And how do you be one yourself?
These are just some of the questions i have asked myself since writing.
Critique partners are everywhere. They are your friends and family - even the ones who don't say anything more than "i like it can i read more?".
The most valuable ones are those who question your writing and come up with points of view on how to make it better or discuss possible slants that you hadn't thought of.
For example, in my competition entry my heroine discovers she is pregnant, and she doesn't know anything about babies. Yet i have her wondering about things like breastfeeding, discipline, sleepless nights etc and my friend pointed out that if she doesnt know anything about babies would she know about things like that? wouldn't she be more concerned about things like her figure? future sex life?
Then i had a thought, as this friend was giving me such great feedback how was i to give it back. She is a budding author herself, but i am not as good as she at giving feedback. I'm more looking at rearranging sentences and finding better words to describe things, rather than asking probing questions to get to the heart of the matter. But i guess that will come with time and experience. We can grow together and so will our writing.
Being honest and open with each other is the key. Our heart and soul is in our writing but our writing is not set in stone and it is always able to be improved. Another point of view and set of eyes can help.
Critique partners make us better writers. Possibly even better readers.