So this last year I have been experimenting with critique partners. It has been a year full of invaluable learning that I wouldn’t trade for anything! Every single person I have worked with has brought something wonderful to the table.
However, not all have been champions for my work. There is a difference. As writers we want to help all other writers—after all who knows better what it’s like to be an aspiring, right? So, how do we make the hard choice to break up and how do we handle it?
Well, me being the socially awkward butterfly that I am, hate guessing games.
The best thing for both parties is to be honest, no it isn’t always easy. We don’t ever want to make a fellow author feel bad. I believe though, if you are honest, they can take it, I mean who has thicker skin than a writer—no one.
So, even though it is a dreaded line the, “It’s just not right for me.” will do. Just let them know that you don’t believe you can do their story the justice that it and they deserve.
Telltale signs that even if you adore each other personally but might not be the right match for critiquing? Well there are a lot of them, and they are painfully obvious, such as asking for changes that are for personal preference only. Like if your CP persistently asks first over third POV, past over present and you know that’s just what they enjoy reading—I’d classify that as a preference.
The bottom line is we all can benefit from others in many different ways, I have never worked with someone and walked away empty handed. If you like the person enough, maybe offer to keep in touch and beta for one another. I found that even though I may not have a lot to offer as a CP for someone, for whatever reason, it never hurts to have many eyes on the overall story.
We all know beta readers are VERY important, and it is a much easier task. You can design your questions and they can be answered easily.
We all just want a CP who believes in our writing as much as we do, and if you have a great, well matched CP it makes all the difference. Just don’t be afraid to cut the wrong ones loose. They will understand, and they will appreciate the honesty, because the chances are if they aren’t right for yours, you’re probably struggling with theirs and at the end of the day we all only want what’s best for our babies.