Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Critique Partners: Multiples!

Normally, I would suggest having multiple partners is not a good thing... eh... well... EXCEPT for when it comes to CRITIQUE PARTNERS! ha. truth.

So, to follow up on yesterday's post: #2: Having multiple critique partners is essential.


Let me tell you:

1. Start with one partner. Get the hang of it. Get a feel for the process and what you like and don't like. Then add a second partner. Then a third.

2. Different people have different opinions - but when multiple critique partners advise you to change/edit/improve a certain passage that you think is perfect - well, you'd better sit up and take notice!

3. Critique partners with different styles will suggest different changes. Implementing the changes that feel right to you, will make your ms more well rounded.

4. One ciritque partner may be so enthralled with your ms that they miss typos and punctuations, where another critique partner may have trouble enjoying the story because of these glaring issues.

And finally, my favorite reason for having multiple partners:
I can clean up my ms as much as I think is possible (ha!), and then I can pass it on to my first critique partner. She reads it, critiques it, and passes it back. I make improvements and pass it on to my next partner. She reads it, critiques it, and passes it back. I make improvements and pass it on to my next partner. And so on and so on. Staging the critiques this way is very helpful in the revising process.

By having each person read an improved version, it can only (hopefully?!) get better. Now, of course you have to be careful to only make changes that *feel* right to you. It is your story after all.

Do you have multiple partners? What is the biggest benefit?


  1. Good points Margo. I've just gotten myself a second critique partner, but I only had one for about a year.

  2. I agree that writers need the wisdom to know when changes feel right. It does take time to get to that point though. Right now I work with multiple partners in a group setting. It's been very helpful since these are people whom I respect as writers and who have a critical eye.

  3. A girl needs more than one partner in her life. I mean someone to cook, someone to clean, someone to help decide the red or the wine (wine). Someone clean the car....

    Oh, CRITIQUES! Yep, that too! :D

  4. Having differing points of view definitely will help a manuscript in the developmental process.

  5. Do I have multiple partners? Why, Margo, that's kinda a personal question, innit? ;)

    Joking aside, I think it's vital to have multiple partners if you want to have multiple readers. No matter what you write, someone will always want it another way but with multiple partners, you get an idea of what works and what doesn't.

  6. I absolutely think every writer should have several betas and critters. Great post!

  7. I have multiple critique partners, and it works well for me.