Critique Partners Who, What, and How

Critique partners are writer colleagues who provide feedback on your work in exchange for providing feedback on their work usually full manuscripts or individual chapters. A fellow writer or author who provides thoughtful and informed feedback on your work based on their knowledge as a writer in exchange you provide the same feedback to them.

How To Choose a Critique Partner

Critique partners should be chosen based on experience, likeability, and professionalism, they love your story, they write in a similar genre, and they have similar work habits. Matching these six categories will make a long-term critique partner match much more likely.

In my opinion, professionalism is most important. Your critique partner should take their writing as seriously as you do. It should be someone who shares a similar vision for their writing journey. Lastly, and most important someone who seems responsible, thoughtful, and hardworking in their everyday life.

Choosing someone with experience doesn’t mean choosing someone with the most experience it means choosing someone with the same level of experience as you or someone with slightly more experience than you. Someone whose comments on story technique and theory make sense to you where you’re at. Someone whose advice about your story gives you little aha moments of understanding.

Likeability is important in a critique partner and should be someone you like to be around even when you’re not talking about writing. It should be someone compatible with your work methods. Yet someone different enough to bring a new and interesting perspective to your work.

You want to choose someone who loves your story. You want someone who volunteers interest in your work. Someone interested in the type of story you are writing. A critique partner who genuinely likes you, your personality, outlook, and voice.

You’ll want a critique partner who enjoys and writes in the same genre as you. Someone who enjoys the same books and authors as you. A critique partner that can recommend books to you that you will end up loving. Someone that writes in the same genre as you and understand the sub-genres and tropes.

Make sure you choose someone with similar work habits as yourself. Someone whose workflow is similar. Someone whose critique preferences will fit into your own life. Someone willing to give you the speed and amount of response you’re seeking.

How To Be A Good Critique Partner

  • Be choosey about what you critique. Do you respect that person and their work? Do you like and respect that genre? Do you truly want to read that draft?
  • Ask questions first. What kind of critique can you give? What do you want me to do for you?
  • Read with your head heart and pen. Interject your responses as you read to add a note or an emoji to let the writer know what you are thinking.
  • Don’t hold back on the compliments.
  • Be kind but straightforward when it comes to the draft’s shortcomings
  • Remember it’s not your draft. Let the writer have and keep their style and voice.



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It officially begins Thursday, July 1st.Camp NANOWRIMO is on our doorstep with all its fanfare and exciting possibilities. Will you reach your writing goal without actually going crazy? What is Camp NANOWRIMO? It’s an international writing month it happens three times a year April, July, and the big event in November. We are gearing up for the July event where you can select a personal goal to achieve writing fewer than 50,000 words or editing 50,000 words instead of writing. It’s a wonderful way to get out of the aloneness of writing and write alongside others.

     NANOWRIMO is serious business, though, and you need to prepare for it. It can be stressful creating 1,640 words a day every day for a month and remember if you miss a day, that day’s word count needs to be made up another day. To win NANOWRIMO, you must be self-disciplined and lucky. It can get stressful. Let’s talk way to cut that stress off at the pass:

  • If you are writing you can plan your story out before July 1st.
  • Get to know your characters.
  • Have an outline.
  • Schedule time to write.
  • Get help with chores around the house.
  • Plan for days you can’t write.

Now that you’ve done everything you can do to plan, you may also feel discouraged on some days. So here are some ideas to help you out:

  • Set a nice atmosphere by lighting a candle.
  • Turn on some twinkle lights or set some mood lighting.
  • Write out positive affirmations.
  • Write a note encouraging yourself to keep going, read it when you feel like giving up.

Get ready for camp NANOWRIMO it starts July 1st, but you can sign up right away. Just go to NANOWRIMO 2021. I hope to see you there virtually. Share with me your camp goal in the comment box below. Give me a thumbs up if you like this content and think you’ll use it during Camp this year. Don’t forget to sign up to get my blog so you won’t miss any of my content.

I love you guys keep writing.