Sunday, August 13, 2006
My most difficult task as someone's critique partner
After much thought and introspection, I finally got up the nerve to tell someone whose WIP I was critiqueing that I didn't think the story fit in the genre it was stated as. The writing itself was quite good but the parts of the story that stood out and were memorable to me were pretty much at direct odds to the genre.

My heartfelt belief was that the story needed to be reworked to either fit the intended genre or to fit the other genre which is where I actually feel this author has a very strong voice.

Finally, after much soul-searching, I wrote a private email last week with my thoughts to her. It was hard because I am SURE it is not what she wants to hear at all but I just don't think I would be doing her any favors by not telling her, either.

My personal feeling is that if I am reading someone's work to offer feeback or critique them, I owe them honesty. Not cruelty, mind you, but definitely honesty.

What do other people think? What do you want or not want in a critique partner? What is the hardest part of being someone's critique partner?


  1. Honesty is the hardest part of critiquing, but it's also the most valuable. I have to be able to trust my reader (be she a true critique partner, or simply someone who acts as a first reader for me) to tell me the truth, even if i don't always want to hear it. Most times, it will be information that is important for me to have.
    You did good Maura, even if you weren't sure you should say something. You needed to tell your cp what you felt about it.

  2. I agree with you about begin honest when it comes down to critiquing someones work. When I got together with my critique partners, I told them from the beginning, to be BRUTALLY HONEST and not to worry about my feelings, because I don't see any agent or editor who would suger coat your work. So I strongly believe start from the beginning and it would pay out in the end.

  3. Hey Maura, I just added you to my blogspot sidebar. I totally spaced out on that--whoops! But you're there now, in all your glory :-)

    WOW you did that??? I'd have loved to be a fly on that wall. I hope we'll have a really productive meeting next month...can't wait to see what come out of that email.

    Keep us posted.

Post a Comment