Friday, March 2, 2012

Writing a Book - Crit Partnership

Hey! Happy March!

First a big heart-shaped chocolate chip cookie from Auntie Tara to Manda Pepper and Nicki Elson for their great short stories! This month's prompt will make you howl for a good cause. Tune in Tuesday!

I'm glad things have settled down somewhat, even though the next Campaign challenge is around the corner. After all those February fests, I finally get to post about writing! Not that I didn't have a great time!

So, I have come to that phase of writing where I have edited my MS several times and my brain is tired of reading it. I know this story inside, outside, upside down (thank you Dr. Suess!) I must take a break from it and let someone else advise me on what it needs, or doesn't need. I have found a sweet CP willing to do it and I'm excited to read her MS as well - give and take!

Many of you have done this before and even if you haven't, you will soon! So I have a few questions for you, like:
  1. How many crit partners have you had? How many is a good number?
  2. Do you crit the same genre you write?
  3. What do you look for when critting? Are you a line by line or a broader, general critter?
  4. What is most helpful to you?
Whatever stage you are in on your WIP, I hope you are writing like mad! Because April and the A to Z challenge will be upon us like Tom on Jerry (pic source) - then Jerry will outsmart Tom and Aunt Jemima will scold him for wrecking the kitchen... What was I saying?

Oh well. Write on! and have a great weekend!


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I have three critique partners and two test readers. One critique partner is outside my genre, but she's just as helpful. It's easier for me to critique the genre I write. I tend to be more line by line but look for bigger issues. And I like to get both back in critiques.
Wow, now my brain is tired...

Kelley said...

I have seven CPs and that will be the max I take on so I can be sure to give the time needed to my CPs work. They are all YA writers but write in different genres than I do.

I am more of a line by line critiquer but do look at the big picture at the end as well.

CPs are so great.

E. Arroyo said...

I have one CP who has read two of my manuscripts and has been a pillar for my sanity. I don't know what I would do without her. I currently have two others that I hope works out. I am confortable critiquing the genre I read, which is anything with strong, interesting, characters. =)

I tend to look at more big picture items: characterization, pacing, narrative etc.

Heather M. Gardner said...

I beg two 'editors' (aka family members) to read my stuff. One holds double college degrees and the other is a librarian. They do line by line stuff but help me see the big picture too. One day I hope to get it back and it will say...I wouldn't change a thing.
I do light editing for a friend. Mostly punctuation and grammar but I try to help with the whole storyline.
I had a bad experience with a crit partner and I'm still gun shy. All I wanted, and clearly stated to them what I wanted, was a general do you like it or don't you like it. They ripped it to shreds.

Best of luck with your WIP. From what I've seen, I know its going to be great.

M.J. Fifield said...

I'm just starting with a new CP. We met at the local writers' group and both write similar genres. Not sure how it'll work out but I remain hopeful.

I tend to be a line by line critter. I'm pretty sure some people have found that to be annoying.

Morgan said...

I have about 6 beta's that I trust implicitly... but they each have a stage that I use them in throughout the process. They're priceless... so important to have good eyes on your work! :D

Samantha said...

I have a cp who also happens to be the most wonderful help when it comes to research. Oh the joys of historical fiction!

Shallee said...

Yay for crit partners! They're so helpful. :)

I have 5 regular crit partners that critique my book as I go-- some in my genre, some not. They also give me an overall read of the book once I'm close to done. Then, once I'm ready for beta readers, I have another 3-5 people read it. I learn so much from them all!

Victoria Lindstrom said...

Great post, Tara. I host a critique group in my home, so I feel like I have seven partners. However, within the group, I have one main crit. partner. She usually does a line by line, since the broad edit gets done within our group. Happy writing!

Christine Rains said...

I have two great CPs and a few people that sometimes are available for betas. None are in the same genre as me, but they're still fantastic. I'm very good at critiquing the story as a whole. Plot, characterization, and pace. I'm learning how to be a tougher line by line critic with short stories. They're tougher for me. I like to see everything back in a critique. The harsher the better.

Have a good weekend!

(I'm curious, did you miss out on the story I wrote from your prompt last month?)

Leigh Covington said...

I have more CP's now that our local group has grown. 4 in local group (not including me) and a couple blogging friends. It gets a little busy sometimes, but it's wonderful.

For the most part, I crit was I write, but I have a few that write different genres. I think that's okay, but it's always good to have things in your specific genre (i think.)

I try to do line by line as well as overall plot things too. And be sure to mention what you like - not just what needs to be fixed. :)

M Pax said...

I have seven crit partners--5 local in different genres, two online in the same genre.

I think more than one is necessary. Everyone sees something different.

My local group we have two writing fantasy, one writing spy novels, another writing mystery, another writing literature, then me writing sci-fi. I think feedback from outside the genre helps. But then so does feedback from those who read the same genre you writ.

What do you look for when critting? Are you a line by line or a broader, general critter? It depends what phase I'm in. We tell each other what we're looking for in feedback. The earlier in, then I want higher level feedback. And it depends what my partners are looking for.

What is most helpful to you? It took time to learn to accept critique and to give better feedback. So patience and time is essential in a critique relationship.

McKenzie McCann said...

I have two fantastic CP's who help me with things like plot, clarity, character development, and most broader topics. I leave the nit-picky stuff for myself. A misplaced modifier or accidental homophone isn't hard for me to spot.

Of course more people read for me, but I only have two people I turn to regularly. Everyone else is more sporadic.

mshatch said...

thanks for reminding me about a - z! I need to get some more posts scheduled :)
In answer to your questions:
I haven't had too many crit partners but they have all been stellar. I'll crit anything as long as it's fiction tho I certainly prefer fantasy and scifi. I'm happy with however anyone wants to crit: all advice is good.

you have an awesome weekend, too :)


nice post

Tara Tyler said...

great responses!
i feel like i interviewed you all!
thanks for the helpful input!