Well, after months of looking and a few try-outs I finally found a match. I actually found my new partner through one of the critters who didn’t work out. I started with Maggie Stiefvater’s YA google group match-up. Sent off a few messages. Pages were swapped. One person I swapped pages with was an ‘almost fit’. Our feedback styles were just not compatible. Although we decided it wouldn’t work, I’m thankful for the help she gave me. She gave me a lot of really good input, including the suggestion to join RWA. I had not considered this before because I write cozies. I decided to give it a try, and the critique partner match up available to members was how I found JJ. That alone was worth the price of admission.
- It is not enough to like the other person’s genre/story.
- The style of commentary can add or detract from the process, so you need to match well in that respect too.
- Time expectations need to align. Setting up a soft deadline for getting those comments back to each other is good while also making sure you both have realistic expectations.
- You can work with almost anyone if they are coming at the critique with professionalism.
- Giving first round comments is as nerve wracking as dating. You bite your knuckles before hitting ‘send’ on that email, hoping above all else that although you’ve never met in person they will get your snarky sense of humor and find your comments useful.
- Comments are useful as long as the other person can hear what you’re trying to say. Brushing up on those soft skills is time well invested and ensures that your partner gets positive feedback (even if it’s critical). You say a little prayer that the comments you get back will be useful too.
- Listening to comments never fails to evoke emotional reactions (for me). It’s good to read them, let them sit a while, then read again.
- When you find a good match, you know it. It’s right almost from the start.
I really want to thank everyone who swapped pages with me. All the feedback I got was useful in one way or another. I think JJ and I will be very happy together.