Once upon a time, there lived a young writer with stories worth gold bouncing from her head. She dreamed of an amazing house—a publishing house that would take her manuscript all the way to Happily Ever After. So after Capilocks trudged through the Forest of Revision, she set out to find a critique partner that was juuuuuuust right.
Capilocks shuddered. “This relationship is too hard.” She wished him well, gathered her tattered ego, and backed away.
The next partner she found was quite cuddly. She dotted her I’s with smileys and hearts, embraced every adverb, and proclaimed, “Brilliant! Send it!” whenever Capilocks scribbled out a new manuscript on the back of a phone message. Capilocks liked this new partner. She never criticized and always encouraged, but Capilocks' stories were still rather suckish.
“This critiquer is too soft,” she said. Capilocks looked around for someone new.
At last, she landed in a relationship with a fabulous writer and caring soul—someone who wanted her to succeed, but wasn’t afraid to ask tough questions. Someone who encouraged her voice, but hid the postage stamps and guarded the send button until manuscripts were polished and prime.
“This critique relationship is just right,” said Capilocks. And it was.
I’ve been blessed to work with some amazing critique partners and dodged a few that didn’t work for me. Where do you go to find great critique partners? Do you ever find it’s tough to critique in a way that’s juuuuust right? Please share in the comments below.