Critique Partners are often two writers who exchange works with each other. In exchange of feedback the other receives and in most cases the work need not be complete.
This is the truth, it may not be complete and need not be so. Which is a huge difference even for beta readers or editors. It can be at any point.
Finding critique partners can be found in many places. Such as:
- Writing Groups
- Critique Sites (Scribophile, Critique Circle, Writing.com, etc)
However, having a critique partner requires the writer to commit. Whether by reading, arranging and ensuring that they can meet the deadlines.
As well as having clear expectations of the sort of feedback you’re seeking. And what you’re comfortable giving and how much. Doing this allows you to really understand the process and the time that goes into this and as such what would be reasonable and what would not.
This also includes underwriting that this person should ideally understand your genre, interested in your premise and invested. And you should also be the same for their work. Otherwise, your work would receive feedback that may not be beneficial to it, as they don’t even like the genre or the subject matter that much in the first place. Or they make recommendations which seems puzzling to you or don’t fit in with the story you had in mind. And vice versa.
There are many many benefits to this as well, allowing you to really improve your work and learn the art of critique. As well as how to reply and deal with it.
This is a good playing ground, it is one that benefits you while also lets you glimpse into the viewpoint of the other person who is also critiquing. It makes you understand how the process is, and how even harsh words and truths come with good intentions.
And that is real, to be honest about your work’s issues is the best way, and sometimes the mode you give the more you understand and put yourselves in their shoes, the more you will be receptive to their feedback.
It was a moment which allowed me to really deal with feedback in a rational way, and learn about what went into it. Before learning how to give better feedback while picking up lessons that I learned from reading other works rather than doing it on my own.
But exchanging works is a great way to go, especially if you’re afraid of the reader not coming back to you or you’re short on cash. Which would be for my next two blog posts, which would be about beta readers and editors.