Saturday, August 8, 2009

Working with a Critique Partner

Thought I might share a few comments about working with critique partners. They are a necessary evil or a blessing depending upon who you ask. For me, they are a blessing. Even writers who are considered the big guns have CP's.

First, CP's are fabulous. Second, they will comment on parts of the manuscript and drive you nuts. Heck, they may suggest a complete rewrite in sections. Third, wouldn't you rather have a critique partner slash, burn, suggest, and help BEFORE you send to an editor and get the same, albeit blunter reaction?

I would.

I don't know anyone who likes hearing that the manuscript you just spent the last however many months working on has flaws. I have firsthand knowledge that it isn't the funnest feeling (don't shoot the poor grammar). BUT it will make the manuscript better.

Do you always have to agree with the CP? Not always. This is the rule I go by when it comes to objections to my CP's comments: if I don't agree, I sleep on it. What seems snarky one day just might make perfect sense the next day. Yes, I have had things I didn't agree on once I slept on it, and yes, there are things I won't change, but then there are the things that needed changed and I couldn't see it otherwise. yes, I had things I didn't want to change, but I did and it made the story stronger. Much stronger.

Remember, it may seem harsh to see the bubbles, red lines, or whatever means by which you choose (with your CP) to edit the work, but when those little issues are resolved, your work will be better.

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