Finding a Critique Partner

Hi, SEers. You’re with Mae today with a subject that’s been discussed before. Even so, I hope this post brings something new to the table, as the subject is one I feel strongly about.

Critique partners are different than beta readers, and both have value. Some writers use both, but most use one or the other. For me, it’s always been critique partners. Finding a good CP, or several good CPs, is not easy—especially when they may not turn up where you expect them.

An open Macbook on a table with a cup of coffee and writing paper

I met Karen, my first critique partner, online. We both loved writing and reading but didn’t know that about each other at the time. Instead, we connected on a site devoted to a short-lived TV show we both enjoyed. We developed a friendship first, one that went beyond the show. From there we realized we both loved books, and—shock—writing.

Karen was more of a plotter. She’d spend months outlining ideas, where I dove in and started writing. When it came down to it, she was more of a reader who loved the idea of writing but struggled to produce material. When she did, it was wonderful, but reaching that point was difficult for her. Even so, she had a keen eye for critique. She devoured books faster than I did, which made me realize that readers are often every bit as good, if not better, than writers when it comes to critique.

Karen and I carried on our friendship and weekly critiques (yes, weekly) for twelve years until she passed away from cancer.

When she died, I was devastated. Not only had I lost a critique partner, I’d lost a close friend. I was rudderless, floundering, adrift in a new world that involved publishing—something Karen had pushed me to achieve, but I never attempted while she was alive. I wrote my first book, Weathering Rock, without the benefit of a critique partner. It’s not a bad book, but it’s definitely not my best work.

After WR, I wanted to find a new critique partner, but not just a CP—I wanted a friend who loved writing as much as I did. For me, it went beyond writing. In the beginning, I reached out to several writers without success. Finally, I connected with someone I enjoyed chatting with online. Bonus, she was a writer and we both liked things that were odd. I thought we’d make a good match, but the first time she sent me something to critique and I marked it up, the idea of working together soured.

I approached her critique the same way I approached something Karen would send me—pointing out all the things that didn’t work, and offering fun asides on the things that did. Unfortunately, there were a lot of things that didn’t work, and my new CP took exception to so much “red” when I returned the file. I knew as soon as she replied, the relationship was over.

hand holding red pen on manuscript pages

So, I went back to the drawing board and eventually connected with two other authors who were associated with my publishing house. We worked together for a while, but something was missing. One of the authors eventually backed out, then I did, too. I simply didn’t feel the all-important connection I’d had with Karen. I felt like I was offering a service, and getting a service in return. The friendship wasn’t there. What we did have felt clunky.

After a while, I connected with another author. I enjoyed her work and we seemed to be a good fit when it came to writing. She also was affiliated with my publisher, and was semi-local, so we got to meet face-to-face and frequented the same signing events several times a year. The only thing that was missing was the personal connection that went beyond writing. That was something I’d had with Karen and craved again. I began to despair it simply wasn’t going to happen, then finally—CLICK!

I worked up my nerve to ask a blogger I was friendly with online if she’d be interested in swapping story sections. The weird thing is, I’d known for a long time she was the one I should be working with. In some ways, she reminded me of Karen, and I felt like Karen was pushing me toward her. It just felt right. Would she want to work with me? Dare I ask? After all the missteps and disastrous attempts, I was ready to abandon hope, but I forced myself to plow ahead and took the chance.

Once we exchanged material, the fit was perfect, and our friendship took off from there. Over time our group of two became a group of four as we welcomed other friends. It isn’t just about critiquing, but about friendship, too. Caring beyond what gets marked up on a page, something that was missing with the CPs I attempted to work with after Karen and before I found my new group.

If I have a bad day, I can grouse to them and they get it. If something extra special happens, they celebrate victories with me. We chat frequently, and only a portion of that back and forth has to do with writing. We may have connected through our love of creating stories, but we’ve discovered friendship beyond that.

The takeaway from this post? If you’re looking for a critique partner, find a writerly friend first. There are plenty of people out there who can provide feedback on the nuts and bolts of your writing, but there are only a handful who will take the time to learn your style and give feedback from the heart. Who will offer genuine friendship in addition to telling you what sucks about your writing and what’s worthy of praise. Yeah, good CPs, valued CPs, can get away with both because they’ve earned the right.

Do you work with a critique partner? If so, I’d love to hear how you connected. And if you’re not working with a CP, would you like to or do you prefer to go the journey solo? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Ready, set, go!

Bio box for author, Mae Clair

59 thoughts on “Finding a Critique Partner

  1. Pingback: Which Way Do I Go? Critique Groups, Critique Partners, or Beta Readers | Story Empire

  2. I am so sorry for your loss. The way you described Karen gave me a feeling as if I knew her. I begin to feel the loss myself.

    The journey you took was fascinating. What I found from all this is that you never stopped searching. After Karen died you knew you had to have someone with her talent and you didn’t stop until you found it.

    As for me, I was lucky. My first book fell into the hands to two amazing people. One was a dear friend from my younger years. In many ways she sounds like Karen. When our work was done I knew the book had to be tightened a bit if I was to attracted a publisher. In came friend two who worked her magic and helped me land a deal.

    I have several people lined up for book two. I’m a lot more organized than the first one. Plus, I won’t be shell shocked when all those red markings come out.

    This was a great post. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • HI, Bryan. It’s so good to have you stop by and share. 🙂

      Karen, was definitely a special person. I miss her constantly, but I also feel her cheering me on, and I know she would love my current critique partners. I truly feel she pushed me to connect with them.

      That is awesome how things worked out for you. It sounds like kismet that everything fell into place for you. And that’s great about book two. You’ve got a lot of good people behind you. Thanks for sharing!

      Like

  3. I would be lost without my CP/friends. I was actually approached by one of them the first time I braved a writer’s group meeting. For this introvert, that was a BIG step! I was sitting there, quietly trying not to get noticed, when this lady tapped me on the shoulder and asked if I had a minute? I figured that was it, they’d already figured out what a fraud I was and had sent her over to politely get me to leave.
    Instead, she asked if I would be interested in joining a critique group she was starting up. We’d meet once a month at one of the homes, and other than that exchange chapters via email for editing. Of course I said yes! We’ve been together for eight years now 🙂
    There are five of us, and the best thing about it is we all right in different genres, so each comes at the critiquing process a little bit differently. It’s amazing how much they pick up on! lol

    Liked by 1 person

    • Eight years is a wonderful, Jacquie! I also love that you get to meet face-to-face once a month.How I wish my CPs lived closed by so that we could do that.

      It sounds like going to that writing group was a great step for you. I remember my first group too, and being nervous about sharing. Fortunately, most writers are introverts—I know there are exceptions—so it helps when banding together at the start, LOL. Thanks for sharing!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. As a retired teacher, I’ve always believed in the power of collaboration. When I decided to try my hand at writing a couple of years ago, one of the best and most fortunate moves I’ve made was finding a critique group. It’s an interesting bunch—six retired professionals from various vocations. They are all better and more experienced writers than me. What I most appreciate is they are supportive without coddling me. It takes a fair amount of courage to put yourself out there and have others pour over your work, but if you want to improve, then I’m convinced one can’t be self-conscious. What works for me is I don’t compare my writing to them; I concentrate how far I’ve come in a year. I tried another group one week, and the environment was totally different. It wasn’t supportive at all, and I couldn’t wait to get out of there even though I didn’t bring any writing that day.

    Funny you should blog about this today as one of my partners, a retired lawyer, sent me her first published book today. I feel proud, knowing we’ve helped her fulfill her dream.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi, Pete. Wow, that is awesome about your friend. I know she must be on a major high with her first published book, and how wonderful for all of you behind her, helping her to reach that point and cheering her on. It sounds like you have an amazing group that works well together. That is a rare find, so treasure it. Many times, writing groups come down to the environment of the second group you tried, so when you’ve got something amazing going, you have indeed found a gem. One of the first local groups I joined was pretty awesome. Unfortunately, it disbanded over time with people moving away and others falling out of touch (this was before the days of the internet….I’m showing my age, LOL). I wish you happy writing and happy critiquing!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I was lucky enough with my WIP to have a fellow blogger (who I admire greatly as a writer) offer to read my GoP draft. When she returned it, she’d critiqued the ENTIRE manuscript. I was floored and am still so deeply thankful. She taught me so much in that single critique and made my novel so much stronger. Problem is, she’s a VERY busy lady and I don’t want to impose on her every time I have a draft ready. More than happy to return the favour (and you know it if you’re reading this!!) … long and the short of it, I will definitely be seeking a CP when (if) the next draft is ready. GREAT article Mae.

    Liked by 1 person

    • What a wonderful critique gift you received on GoP! It’s not just anyone who would go to that length, critiquing an MS in whole at once. That’s pretty much like a edit and I know how time consuming it is. Lucky you. It sounds like you really benefited from that experience.

      Seeking out a CP is a huge help, because that person (or persons) can perform that same level of critique as your MS grows, chapter by chapter. I think you’ll find the experience invaluable. And in working with CPs, sometimes, you have nothing to send them, but you’re critiquing for them because they’re working on a WIP. It’s being available even when you have nothing to send in return, but it’s all so rewarding.

      Thanks for sharing, Jess!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow, that’s quite a history you have had with partners, and having found such a special one in Karen, it must have made it even harder trying to find a new one.
    I’m incredibly fortunate to have worked with the same SFF writer’s group for 30 years – members come and go, but the core group of 3 has been stable all along. We all work at professional level, and are very experienced at both giving and taking positive but honest critiques. Sometimes a new member (we do ‘auditions’ for applicants, who present us with a piece of work so we can see if they would be a good fit) doesn’t take it well, and fails to return, but mostly, even when we take on someone who is just knocking at the door, it isn’t long before they start making sales.
    Now I’ve moved to the other end of the country I’m going to try and arrange work visits down south around the dates of our meetings – I really rely on experienced feedback as my novels develop – we usually crit around 3 chapters at a time, which means any plot holes get pointed out before I go too far off track. I also appreciate the face to face group meetings, where we will brainstorm problems and find a variety of possible solutions. I would hate to be without them.

    Liked by 2 people

    • 30 years?!?!? OMG, you have something amazing going on there, Deborah! I thought my years with Karen were unusual (for how long we’d been a team), but 30 years is mind boggling. Not only that you’ve all stuck together that long, but also that you’ve all continued to write with an ongoing passion. Many times, writers fall away, distracted by real life and other commitments. I love that you have all been together so long. It’s also cool that you have “auditions” for applicants, and that you have such a high success rate with your group.
      Keep going strong, and thanks for sharing!

      Liked by 1 person

      • ❤ I realise we are really unusual, it just works, and I guess that’s why we keep going. Three of our former members made it successfully into the ranks of full time traditionally published authors, and several of the others sell regularly to pro short story markets. Two of us (me included) have gone hybrid with success, and a couple of others have had a single novel trad published. A record to be proud of!
        We took advantage of our joint wealth of material and published an anthology, THE WORLD AND THE STARS, which has gone down well, particularly as we took advantage of our connections to provide an A-list headliner: Tanith Lee, a lovely and encouraging lady sadly no longer with us.
        I’ve heard many negative things about writer’s groups (and seen them, too), but I’d always suggest giving it a go – when it works, it really works!

        Liked by 1 person

      • What an amazing history and record for your group. All of you certainly have every right to be proud of your successes. And I’ve read Tanith Lee. Her work is incredible. I had not realized she had passed away.
        I wish you many continued successes and many continued years with your wonderful group!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Mae, so sorry to hear about Karen. It’s rough to find that special person that can be both a friend and helpful critique partner. I’m glad you found a new group.

    I have two CPs that I work with and one beta reader. I also have an editor for my final work. I am very lucky.

    Like most of you, I was part of a writing group that included people in various stages of writing and multiple genres. Since my primary focus is fiction, although I have dabbled a few times in poetry, it was difficult to critique all genres. Without knowing what is acceptable in each genre, I found that some of my critiques were not taken favorably. Also, the different stages of writers, want to be writers, published writers, etc., make it hard for a more advanced writer to get a good critique. The writing group met weekly, then moved to twice per month, then to monthly. Even then it was difficult for me to find the time to make meeting when I wasn’t getting much in the way of useful feedback.

    I have formed a great bond with my current CPs and even live close enough to one of them to meet for coffee.

    My beta reader has been helpful in different ways. Noticing plot holes, or things that just do not work, or character flaws.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Writing groups can be really tough especially when you’re coming together for the first time. I remember one lady in my group who, after receiving critique from the other members, never came back. It was obvious she was upset when others pointed out situations that didn’t work or how to make them better.

      I’m glad you have a great bond with your current CPs. And how wonderful to have one close by, that you can even meet up for coffee. That has to be so much fun. And although I’ve never used a beta reader, I know many writers who swear by how beneficial they are.

      Thanks for sharing!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Loved this post! My critique partner is my best friend from grade, middle and high school. We love the same books and movies and this is what has always bonded us. It seems like a bad idea to have a best fried as a CP but actually it works for me because she’s not afraid of being honest and will never tell me she thinks something is good when it’s not! Thanks again for this post, really enjoyed reading it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Monique! You are so lucky to have a critique partner who is also your BFF. A bond that exists from grade school is a strong one indeed. It’s important to have someone who will be honest with you, and friends will certainly be that. It sounds like you have a wonderful situation.
      Thanks so much for visiting and sharing! I’m glad you enjoyed my post. 🙂

      Like

  9. I don’t have a critique partner, Mae. I think it sounds lovely though. I have a developmental editor and she has helped me tremendously. I feel my writing is improving all the time and that is largely from her input and from all the help I’ve had from other writers and even from reviews of my books. It is wonderful to be part of a terrific group like you are. A precious and wonderful thing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Robbie. Even though you’re not working with a critique partner, it sounds like you are definitely getting constructive feedback and critique from a number of sources. Growth as a writer, certainly comes as a result. I know, I am continually growing as well, and am so thankful for the people who have helped that happen. I do love being part of my critique group. If you have the opportunity, CPs are wonderful to work with!

      Liked by 1 person

      • If you are interested in working with a critique partner, Robbie, there is always the online option. My CPs and I live states apart, so all of our exchanges and chatting are done online. Local writing groups where you can meet face to face are great, but working with someone online is also wonderful. 🙂

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  10. Great post, Mae. I’m sorry for the loss of your friend, but happy you found the connection you were looking for. I beta read, and have been lucky to have ran across some beta readers for my work whose opinions I respect, yours included in that. Although, I’ve found a few works I’ve read the writer didn’t like when I pointed out issues I saw. I am going to try a writing group, but like you said you have to understand each other, so I know it will be a learning experience:)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Denise, I’ve belonged to several writing groups (in addition to working with critique partners) over the years. One was particularly good, one fairly good, and the others only so-so. I still gained something from each of the experiences that contributed to my growth as a writer. I wish you well with your group. There’re especially helpful if you’re meeting face to face. And you may “click” with 1 or 2 members of the group who become regular CPs as well. That’s always a possibility when you’re in a group.

      I’m glad that beta readers are working for you. Thanks so much for the kind compliment, too. Beta reading for others is something I’ve only started trying recently. Hopefully, I can do more in the future. 🙂

      Thanks for sharing, today!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. It’s hard to lose a Karen–both a friend and the perfect critique partner. I’ve had a few CPs, and it’s tricky to find the right ones. I belong to our writers’ group, and I love them. They always recharge my batteries, but since we take turns reading, I never get more feedback than the first few chapters. But that’s all right with me. I mostly love ALL the feedback they give, even to other writers, because it makes me think and focus on the craft. I exchange manuscripts with one of the friends I met at the group, and my daughter always reads my manuscripts. I feel comfortable with both of their feedback. They know my strengths and weaknesses. My writing wouldn’t be as good without them.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Judi, you made an excellent point that when it comes to feedback in a writer’s group, everyone can benefit from what’s shared, even when it isn’t centered around your own work. I do think meeting regularly and with a group you can connect with face-to-face is a great for motivation and getting creative juices flowing.

      It’s great you have your daughter and CP as well. I’m like you when it comes to my critique partners—my writing wouldn’t be the same without them! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Critique partners are so very important to me. I have 3 that are amazing and we meet once a month via Skype and now Zoom. Without them, I would not have published 7 books so far. And yes, we are also friends. There is much laughter as well as serious critique! A great post.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. I had the same experience with a CP that you had, Mae. My comments seemed to open some kind of wound that no matter how I tried I could not couch enough. I finally called it quits and was surprised when the person was surprised. “oh you done so much for my writing,” was the comment. Go figure.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Wow! Well, at least that person learned from you, even if they did have issues with having their work marked up. I think if someone is not used to working with a serious critique partner, it can be a shock the first time around. I’m sorry it didn’t work out for you. Maybe, down the road the opportunity will be there again. In the meantime, you seem to be doing quite well by using beta readers, something I’ve never tried.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Oh, Mae, my heart broke for you when you lost Karen. The journey toward a successful critique partner or group is most often met with failure. I’ve certainly had my share. I had an experience exactly like the lady you critiqued and never heard from her again. Apparently, I hurt her feelings badly. I am in the process of trying to organize a critique group within a book club I belong to. We’ll see how that pans out. In the meantime, I have my sister and we exchange chapters weekly. Then every Sunday morning by phone and over coffee, we talk about them. She is my rock, my anchor in the writing world. I do want to share with you, Mae, that I finally have a publisher interested in the White Rune Series! The Wild Rose Press has taken it and a contract is on the way. Am I doing a happy dance? Yes, but chewing my nails too. They’ve already insisted on changing the title of the book. Instead of “When Two Worlds Collide,” it will be “Ghostly Interference.” I have to admit their title has more sales appeal. 🙂 A new journey for me for sure! Thank you for sharing this post today. It is timely!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Oh, Jan, I am thrilled for you that your MS has been accepted by the Wild Rose Press. They are a quality publishing house, one of the few I’ve considered approaching. I have only heard good things from the authors I know who are with them.
      How exciting for you! I know you have waited a long time for this. I’m doing a Snoopy dance for you, my friend!

      I also help the critique group among your book club works out. It helps to have a close CP (or a few) who you really connect with. Right now, it sounds like Linda is filling that role very well. I’m glad you have that rock and anchor. It makes all the difference as you write.
      And congratulations again. Such exciting news!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. You made me laugh when you said your second CP liked odd things like you did. That probably isn’t important to a lot of people, but it rang a bell for me. lol

    I am sorry about Karen. And most of your CP history. I’m glad you found your new group. I love that Karen helped guide you in that direction.

    I started going to different writing groups in Arkansas. One had us read five pages aloud, along with providing written copies for everyone there. I learned about the industry from some of the advanced authors there, but it quickly became apparent that five oral pages took way too much time, and if I was going to get a whole novel critiqued by them, it would take forever. I then went to a different group. The moderator allowed me to email 20-30 pages at a time because my writing didn’t require a lot of work, but he was the only person who gave me useful feedback. The rest of the pages came back to me with “really good” at the end and maybe a comma added or removed (and usually that was wrong). I knew that wasn’t for me. A formed a CP group with a few of the ladies I met at those groups, but that fizzled out for a few reasons. At that point, I figured I’d be a solo act until the editor got my work. Then someone I really admired asked if I’d like to trade pages. It was a perfect fit. Like you, that developed into a wonderful friendship. And as the group expanded, we all only grew closer. So, I have to agree with you—anyone with knowledge of the industry can review your work, but only a friend will last as a valued CP.

    I also have two beta readers, and I wouldn’t trade them for anything, either. But you’re right; that’s a whole different thing. I do believe what makes our working relationship so solid is a personal relationship first. So, I think what you said applies to betas or CPs.

    Great post, Mae.

    Liked by 4 people

    • I tried a few local groups where we traded pages with the same results as you. It took forever to work through all those critiques because the group was too big, and the going was slow. And even then, there wasn’t really any friendships that extended beyond the groups. I think that makes all of the difference when you’re working with others.. I’m glad you found a good fit, too. And although I haven’t tried beta readers, I know many people who swear by them.Thanks for sharing!

      Liked by 2 people

  16. Reblogged this on The Write Stuff and commented:

    Mae Clair has an excellent post on Story Empire today on working with Critique Partners. If you’ve considered doing this, but were on the fence, you should check this out. And if you do use critique partners and/or beta readers, you’ll be interested in this one, too. Please don’t forget to pass it along as well, so other writers can consider this option. Thanks, and thanks to Mae for a great post! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Very interesting journey you’ve taken in your search for a new critique partner. I’m sorry you lost your first one in such a sad way, but glad you had that chance to be friends and work with her for a long time. We’ve talked about the difference between critique partners/groups and beta readers before, but no matter what you call them, I have a group that works perfectly for me. BTW, one of them is from across the Pond, and she says the two terms are used in the opposite way in her part of the world.

    But what’s in a name, eh? The important thing is the feedback, and here’s what I’ve done. I wasn’t looking for edits or markups. I was looking to find out what readers would think of what I was producing, and right from my first book, I knew I needed that feedback before I’d ever be brave enough to publish. So I set up a private blog. (We call it our Beta Blog, since it’s where the very first eyes will see what I’ve written, and help me decide if I need to make changes.) I asked some friends and fellow readers I knew if they’d be interested in reading for me as I wrote my book. Et voila! It worked to perfection for me, and here’s how: as I finish each chapter draft, I post it to the blog, where my “betas” read it and let me know what they think. They are a diverse group, so I get feedback from some who are readers only, letting me know if they are enjoying the chapters, and from some who writers themselves. That way, I get comments from a writer’s perspective, too. All are hugely valuable to me, though at this point, my main concern is whether or not the story is working and the characters are engaging.

    To me, the plus for doing it this way is seeing if the chapter worked the way I wanted it to. Some of my readers catch typos or point out small problems with wording, but mostly their job is to enjoy the story, and let me know if they are confused by something, or there’s something that seems off. I leave most of the bigger stuff to my editor. Once my readers have read the entire book, and I have feedback from some very bright folks on hand, I of course, am ready to begin my final revisions. At that point, enough time has lapsed that I can also see places that can need a last tweaking. Then, of course, it goes to my editor for the final word.

    The advantages of going chapter by chapter? Several, but most important for me that it saves me from finding out at the end of my story that something isn’t working, and thus having to go back through the entire 350+ pages to change it. Plus, if the readers are really enjoying each chapter and looking forward to the next, it lifts my spirits and keeps me motivated and encouraged. As a new writer, this was paramount in the beginning, and it’s still a big bonus. I’ve done 7 novels and 2 novellas this way, and can’t imagine changing.

    Bottom line is, no matter what you call it or how you approach it, having some good folks willing to read your work as you go and give you their feedback is a wonderful thing. I know how much it’s helped me, and I agree with you, Mae, that it’s very valuable to writers, in more ways than one. Great post! Sharing! 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

    • I actually do exactly what you do, Marcia, only my group shares chapters by email, rather than on a blog. I like to have feedback as I write, chapter by chapter, so I can correct what isn’t working as it’s happening–rather than finding out at the end of the book that I need to add or change something. It’s also interesting that the terms are reversed across the pond.

      I love how your group keeps you motivated as well. Sharing what they enjoy and being excited to receive the next chapter is great motivation for you to continue. Given you written all your books this way, from the very start, I’d say you definitely found a system that works, backed by a great group of readers and writers. Thanks for sharing!

      Liked by 2 people

      • I think that’s the trick, isn’t it? Finding the approach that you’re comfortable with and works well for you. And then, no matter what you read, think twice about changing it. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” 😀

        So glad your system works for you, and yes, feedback as you go just makes more sense to me, all the way around.

        Liked by 1 person

  18. I’ve done a bit of everything. I started with a critique group who met at a local library every month. It was strange, because we were all at different stages, and one of them was a confirmed poet. We helped each other as best as we could, but the mix was wrong. Eventually, we disbanded, and I used beta readers. I enjoyed working that way, and reciprocated whenever I was asked. Beta reading is a big project, and that didn’t last either. I’m with a new group today and wouldn’t trade them for anything. I only hope my productivity isn’t wearing them out.

    Liked by 3 people

    • A few years ago, I joined a group at my local library, too. We had the exact same issues—everyone was at different stages, most of them starting out. We worked as best we could, but for me, I wasn’t getting what I needed. I love helping new authors, but I needed someone at my level or above to push me. I did get some valuable feedback, but on the whole, I did a lot more editing/critiquing, then I received in return.

      I’m glad you finally found a group that works for you. With all of your releases, you’re definitely highly productive. I’m sure your group is cheering you on!

      Liked by 2 people

  19. Several years ago, I began with a critique group. It was what I needed at the time, but over the years, attending every week (yes, weekly) became more of a burden. The people who attended were all in different stages of their writing – some of them “want to be writers.” Not only that, but some also wrote non-fiction, so there wasn’t consistency.

    Fortunately, I connected with a wonderful group of critique partners online. We all write fiction and like you, we have become friends. I think my writing has improved because of this special group.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I think that’s the problem with a number of groups, especially if they’re local. The levels of the writers cross all manner of skill levels, including those who are just starting out. Non-fiction is also an entirely different bird. We had a non-fiction author in one of my early groups, and he was difficult to critique. He also had problems critiquing fiction, because it was not something he was used to reading.

      I’m so glad you finally found a good fit, Joan, and are now with a group you enjoy, and have also discovered friendship among them. To me, that’s what it’s all about. Thanks for sharing!

      Liked by 2 people

  20. Interesting post, Mae. I prefer to go solo when it comes to writing. If I went the route of a CP, I’d have to finish the whole book first and then send it, and I’d have to have a good rapport with the person. Not everyone is good at critiquing. Who knows, maybe one day … 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I do think rapport with the person makes a huge difference when you work with someone, Harmony. You can trust them to be honest, and they in turn, have no fear of pointing out something they don’t think works.
      We each have to work as it best suits, and if solo is working for you, that’s great. If you do ever decide to venture into critiquing, I’m sure you’ll know if and when the time is right. Thanks for sharing!

      Liked by 1 person

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