How To Maintain a Critique Partner Relationship
Maintaining a Happy & Healthy CP Relationship
- On your profile or preliminary email exchange, be upfront about the commitment you expect from your CP, as well as the commitment you can give. Do you want her to read a chapter a week? A month? Your entire novel? Try to give specifics so you both have a clear idea about what is expected.
-Don’t take critique personally. Hearing someone’s opinions on your work might take some getting used to, but that’s what critique is after all. If you tear up each time someone suggests improvements or revision though, you might not be ready to hear honest critique yet. Constructive criticism should not be hard to hear, but exciting and eye opening. (Non-constructive criticism is a different matter entirely however and we advise you to move on from this. See our golden rules).
- Don’t feel obliged to take on each and everyone of her suggestions – and vice versa! Take each comment with a pinch of salt and be sure to keep your own voice and style strong and clear.
- There is no need to defend or explain every detail. If you feel it’s necessary, go ahead. If it’s not really crucial to argue each and every point, don’t expend the energy in order to do so. It’s exhausting and pointless!
On Finding ‘The One’ first time
- Be prepared to try out a few different people. It might be love at first site or it might take various ‘first dates’ until you find someone whose style of writing and working gels with yours.
- Don’t give up! You might not hit the jackpot first time, and that’s okay. It’s good to work with a few different people until you find a good fit. If you want to work together in the long term, that’s the best way. That’s how things work in the real world after all.
We recommend CP’s to agree to a trial period before taking on any kind of commitment. Two weeks to a month is usually a good amount of time. If your critique styles differ, there is no pressure to carry on from there. No one should be offended by this – c’est la vie!