Here i will share my journey of hopefully one day recognising my dream of becoming published writing what i love to read; Romance!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Critique Partners

Okay, so i don't have one or belong to a writing group.
I am lucky enough to have a few friends willing enough to read my writing when ever i want or need some one to, even when i don't!
But i don't have the time to belong to a formal group.

I understand the benefits of having your work critiqued and learning from another viewpoint and then learning what others do with their work too.
With two young children, i find i'm struggling enough as it is just to get my own writing time in to find the time to read other's writing. I've been meaning to read my friend's awesome first novel, (check out her blog!) and feel bad that i haven't done so in a timely manner considering she's given me such great feedback on Secrets.

How do you find the time and do you get great benefit from CP's? How do you chose yours?


  1. Hi Kerrin,

    First off: Happy Birthday, and I hope you've had your hearts desire presented this morning with a big bow!

    Secondly: critique partners = some are great others are crap! Being friends is one thing, but critiquing with an eye to detail means looking at the work, not the person behind it!!

    I have to say some groups are great - those where everyone mucks in and dolls out critiquing in equal measures. But grouping does take a chunk out of writing time, same as blogging around favourite blogs does.

    Then there are groups where a leading light/s take command (gushing out praise and boosting morale - effectively far more interested in enhancing own inner desires to be loved/adored/popular)but that kind of person critiques with a favourable eye, which in reality rarely helps advance the writing skills of the naive among their ranks who feel need to belong in a group of likeminded souls.

    I've belonged to two Yahoo groups for about ten years now - one a writers group one a reading group.

    To be honest, the writers in our group (who will all say the same as I- published and unpublished) are often too busy with their own work to critique properly on a regular basis, hence work is read by some not others and, of course differing opinions the result.

    The reading group is quite different, only one other in the group is a writer (scriptwriter). The readers naturally want to read our work and if allowed they are much more critical and honest than other writers' will ever be.

    Writing buddies on a one-to-one basis are great for morale boosting and keeping each other writing, but go to an outsider for a critique if you really want an honest opinion!


  2. CP's - I guess they are the most invaluable persons from whom we learn, not only our craft, but the finer nuances of the same.

    We as writers, do a solitary task of research, write, learn, apply and then write ! There are places where we get attached to a MS and don't see the obvious mistakes or holes staring back at us. The additional pair(s) of eyes are utmost essential then !

    As to how did I chose mine, well.. I just gave my email id and requested in eharlequin forums ! Got a few, but then we kind of drifted apart, got a few more, trying to maintain a good rapport with them :) We kind of work at different paces, but help out whenever needed with the others' work :)

  3. Not a writer, but had thought about a few ideas. Still as to finding time when holding down a household with two young children, I can speak to. My wife has delegated the cooking, cleaning, and most of the child care to me. Since we both work full time, I have only the evenings during the week to tend to my responsibilities. She like the weekend to be free for her to schedule so my chores need to be done before then. She also like for me to be available to her starting about nine each night. This does not leave much time to cook, oversee homework, cooking dinner, cleaning the kitchen, bathing the children and see to them getting into bed. Also finding time for household cleaning is tricky.

    Anyway, one thing I found really helpful is to keep waking up earlier until I found a time where I could get everything done in the morning without feeling rushed. I finally landed on 5:50 and it is working well for me. It gets me through the morning responsibilities I have and leaves a little time before I have to go to work to do some household chores like a load of laundry, or running a vacuum.

    Anyway motivation will find a way that works well for your situation. Best wishes.

  4. Good critique partners are worth their weight in gold. I'm lucky enough to be a member of a couple of very supportive crit groups (one for romance and another for short stories) and am also in regular contact with a couple of writers who comment on my work.

    There's never enough time, though.


  5. Thanks Francine! iPad isn't in NZ until July so i have to wait but that's okay, i can be patient :) I got some books from the kids and a cake and a mini party and some handmade cards, it was fab!
    Thanks everyone, it is lots to ponder and i don't feel too bad about not belonging to a group just yet, i'm getting good feedback as it is with how it's working out! When the time is right, i'll go searching.
    SH, i don't know how you do it!!

  6. properly motivated.....

    your a creative type. I will leave the rest to your imagination. ;-}