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!!