Finding the right critique partner for your writing is a lot like finding the right life partner: you’ll get along fine if both of you can compromise. For example, if she likes sushi and you don’t, the perfect partner will find a restaurant that accommodates both palates.
If you’re shy about finding your perfect match, here’s a few tips that can help.
A checklist for compatibility:
- Experience: Look for someone who is writing at a comparable level and whose technique and story theory make sense to you.
- Likeability: Find a person who you’ll want to spend time interacting with and who will make the process enjoyable. You don’t have to be bosom buddies, but you won’t want to be at each other’s throat. Also consider someone different enough – remember, opposites attract—who will bring new perspective to your work.
- Same habits: Consider the potential partner’s work habits, speed and response time.
- Loves You: Find someone who volunteers interest in your work or enjoys the type of stories you write. It helps if that persons likes your personality, outlook and your writing voice.
- Career path: An ideal partner is someone who takes their writing as seriously as you take yours and is on a similar journey with like goals.
Now take this list and add some of your own criteria. If you’d rather your critique partner be of the opposite sex, go with it.
I’d love to hear from you: the good, the bad and the ugly truth about your experiences. And for those of you still dating, here are some sites that may help you find the perfect match:
RWA Critique Partner Match-up rwa.org/critiquepartnermatchup Provides online form to locate CP by genre, critique experience, writing level, and location. Annual membership fee required.
Inked Voices inkedvoices.com Provides online matchmaking service for critique groups by category/genre/writing level and offers online platform for giving and discussing critiques. Pro critique groups moderated by published authors available. Monthly subscription fee.
Critique.org critique.org Open forums where you can post your work for online critique by other members. Free.
Absolute Write absolutewrite.com/forums/activity.php Online discussion boards where you can post requests for critique partners. Free.
Critique Circle critiquecircle.com Online critique partner exchange (you earn critiques from members by delivering them to others). Free.
Thanks to Jen Malone for some of of the listed resources.