Monday, September 10, 2012

Critiquing--Why We Should

Lindi here.

I have 2 critique partners. Both are published. Both are amazing writers.

Which is why sometimes, when I read their work, I get crazy about mine.

Crazy in not a good way, I might add.

I read their work thinking, 'Why can't I do that? Why can't I write like that?'

But once I get over the crazies, I step back. I realize I'm learning from them as well. I see aspects of writing that I need work on, and when I'm working on my own manuscript I try to remember these things. I see the threads they run through their books. The endings bring these threads full circle and I study how they ran the threads through the books. The hints they threw in. The subtle way they let the reader in on aspects that the reader may or may not realize at the time that they are in on this particular aspect.

But later, when something else comes up, the reader feels that sense of ahhhh, yes. I remember. How clever.

Both my critique partners have strengths that I struggle with. It's all in God's plan, I' sure, that he put us together..

If you are a writer, do you have a critique partner you trust and learn from? If you are a reader, don't you love a great book where the author has brought out all emotions, brought you full circle in a story, and has you wishing you had another book to read by them?

Oh, and click over  to my personal blog to read all about chocolate!!


  1. I feel like a lone wolf writer. I once was a member of ACFW and was developing writer-friends, but then my life had drastic changes that had me putting down writing for most of the past five years. The dream of and desire to write remains as strong as ever.

    I'm now a single mom on my own and finishing my college degree so I can support myself and my girls. To step back into writing, I took a creative writing class as an elective this summer, and had so much encouragement from the instructor. Her critique of the first short story I'd written in years was completely unexpected. She commented halfway through, "I'm not commenting because I'm simply absorbed." And at the end, "this was just a straight through pleasure to read." Subsequent assignments had more constructive criticism as I experimented in my writing style.

    I know I need to find a writing community, even if it's online only. Being on my own doesn't allow for feedback, instruction, encouragement, etc.

  2. It's been a while since I've commented... Love the new colors! Hope everyone had a wonderful summer! And yes Lindi I love when a book ties everything up and brings me full circle! There are lots of books that I've wished wouldn't end :)

  3. Tere, we're so glad you found us! I hope you'll keep hanging out here. I think you'll find encouragement. I'm also on another group blog where we like to encourage writers.

    I'd suggest rejoining ACFW if you can. They do have scholarships if dues would be a struggle right now (as a single mom in school). That would be a great place to find a critique partner. It sounds like you're a fantastic writer! I hope you'll keep at it!

  4. Hey, Eva! It's great to hear from you!

    Lindi, I hope you realize that your cp's also read your work and wish we could write witty dialogue and internal thoughts like you do! :)

  5. Tere---Wow--what a story! Thanks for sharing. Yes, being in a community of writers is very helpful. One of my cps' is an online critique only. She doesn't live in the same country as I do! :) But that's okay--we can still encourage each other.
    I, too, started this journey as a single mom, and struggled for quite a while.
    I say hang on, write what/when you can and keep the dream. It sounds like God has given you a gift--and it's a passion that won't simply go away. Please stop back by and let us know how things are going.

  6. Eva--so good to see you! We have missed you. :) And yes, there are a lot of books I read that I just want them to keep on going.

  7. Thanks, Lindi! Hoping to stop in more regularly now :)

  8. Eva--we always love 'seeing' you. :)

  9. Tere, I think that's awesome that even though you are a single mom and have so manythings to juggle that you are intent on getting your degree AND that you are pursuing writing.

    I've had to step back from several things to find a balance to juggle work-family-writing and all the extra activities that are thrown into the mix. I've found having a critique partner is good because not only is she my CP she's also my friend. She and I both have lulls of not writing but both are there to encourage one another. sometimes, that's what I need the most.

    I hope you'll check back in with us again!

    Hi Eva!! I've been away a while myself. I always love seeing you online ;)