The Crazy Beauty of Critique Partnering

by Lori, @lorisizemore on 04.20.2012

in writing

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I found my critique partner through a website (Ladies Who Critique) about eight months ago. We exchanged a chapter to see if we would be a fit. We decided to chat on Google a week later and about five minutes in she said, “Can I just call you? I hate chatting.” Feeling slightly awkward about my West Virginia accent, I reluctantly agreed. (She doesn’t know I was reluctant. I’m shy. Shh, that’s a secret).

That night, we went over our crits, answered questions, brainstormed. Then we spent three hours talking about writing, and story, and good books. And life. It was like we were meant to partner up.

Now, she’s my writing partner. We write our own stories, but we help each other by brainstorming, critting, beta reading, and motivating. We talk at least weekly. We actually talk a lot. Like, we usually run down the battery on my home phone and my cell phone.

The thing is, besides acquiring a loving, accepting, genuine friend, my writing has improved. A lot. Because when you have someone to throw around ideas with, who will say, “Your hero is acting like an asshole,” (her) or, “No, I’m sorry. Internal conflict doesn’t count as scene conflict. Something has to happen. Period,” (me), then you up your game. You have someone, in real time, to call you on your flaws, to draw out your talent. It’s like creativity crack.

Before I end this with crazy, random quotes, I encourage everyone to find a writing partner. It should be someone you trust. It should be someone you connect with. It should be someone who is committed at the same level you are. But do it.

Crazy, Random Quotes:

  • “I think my hero’s hair is going to be troutymouth blond.” (Cool points if you get this reference. See a couple of posts back for a clue.)
  • “That’s okay though. The important thing is you were creatively…creating.” (Yes, I’m a writer. I use my words so well.)
  • “I think my inappropriate dead crush is Yul Brenner.” (Mine is Rock Hudson).
  • “I’m a writer. I can make those fantasies happen all over my mind.” (Let’s not even go there.)
  • “But we’re not normal people.” (It’s true.)
  • “Trust me. You’re going to love conflict boxes so much, you’ll want to marry them.” (She’s almost there.)
  • “I have the perfect song for your story. Go buy it.” (It was).

Photo used with permission from stock.xchng. Photo by: Robert Linder.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Bethanne April 21, 2012 at 7:00 am EDT

Your spot here is beautiful! How have I never been here before… hmm. Is it new? probably not, huh? :D Support in friendship is the best thing for writers.

Have a great weekend, and thanks for stopping by my blog.
Bethanne | Proud and Disappointed at the same timeMy Profile

lori
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April 21, 2012 at 12:44 pm EDT

Thank you so much. I enjoy doing design and playing with that as much as actually posting, lol. Years ago, when everybody had a webs site on geocities or freeservers, I learned html and coded my whole site myself (without the help of an html editor, I mean). Now, it’s a LOT more confusing, but I know just enough about CSS and php to do what I want with the user friendliness of Wordpress and my Thesis theme.

Thank you so much for stopping by.

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