Monday Musings: Crit Partners

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I’ve talked here before about crit partners, but in the last two years that I’ve been serious about writing, I’ve never been as thankful for my crit partners as I am today. Or this year, really. 

I’ve been blessed with having found AMAZING crit partners.  We don’t always agree on things.  I have one who HATES (maybe that’s too strong of a word, I’m sure she’ll correct me. :P) when my heros carry my heroines around.  I like it. Not ALL the time, but when I think there’s a need for it.  Another of my crit partners is more on the innocent side and doesn’t like my more steamy scenes.  And yet another loves both of those things, but hates other things. 

The thing about them all is they all have their strengths.  The one that hates all the sappy, sappy stuff, is the one that knows me the best. I can talk to her about any little idea that pops into my head.  And not only does me encourage me to try it, she’ll run with it and come up with something even zanier!  Also, she’s not afraid to tell me when something isn’t working.  We’re both so honest with each other that sometimes, I’m TERRIFIED of opening my crit notes from her.

Like last night I got my latest notes from her, knowing she would “Tear me up”  (I specifically asked her to and she did!) But I also knew that I would probably agree with all of the things she saw as problematic.  I was right.  In fact, if I thought about it, we’ve been together so long I could have easily pointed out the areas that she had a problem with. 

And she’s awesome because she doesn’t mind spending 2 hours on skype with me while I whine and hem and haw in her ear about the things she doesn’t like.  Especially those heros of mine.  ; )  (LOVE YA!)

Anyway,  moving on.  Another is excellent at pointing out movements and is PERFECT for helping me stage my characters. She’ll point out each time she can’t get a feeling of where my characters are or how they’re moving.

But the thing is, for me crit partners are essential.  They help me brainstorm.  They tell me when things aren’t working, and they encourage me when I feel like my book is crap and it’s “all wrong. Every thing is WRONG!”  LOL.  And yes, sometimes the only nice thing they have to say about a story is what’s up in the little picture, but then that’s what they’re there for, right?

But my crit partners are more than that.  They’ve become friends. In some cases,  my best friends and I seriously don’t know what I’d do without them.  Even when I want to pull my hair out and go, as I’m saying, “But now I’ve got to change EVERYTHING!” 

Thanks, guys!  For everything!

So, question for you.  What’s your thoughts on crit partners?  Problematic or Godsend?


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