wonderful Sarah, who wants to know:
Do you work with critique partners? How did you find your crit pals, and what influence have they had on your work?
Writing is a solitary task. That's what people always tell you. And for the most part, they're right. But sometimes, you have to let other people in. At least, I do anyway. I have vision, when I write. I can clearly see in my head what I want my book to be, what I want it to say, to mean. And what I get on paper, doesn't always match what's in my head. Only, because we human beings are masters of self-deception, my wily brain fills in those gaps between what I wrote and what I mean, leading me to believe I have created the ultimate work of staggering genius!
That's where my awesome peeps come in. I don't have a dedicated writing group. The only person who I can always count on to read my stuff is my best friend Rach. I'm pretty sure I'm the reason her son started watching Blue's Clues. She doesn't read as a writer, but as a reader, and I can always count on her to prop up my ego when it needs it, and to gently call me out for the things that suck. She's my cheerleader. And when I write, she is the one person I think about. She's my ultimate reader. It's her, that I want to impress.
But I also have a network of amazing writer friends. Fellow chainer, Tenner, and author Margie. She's not only a fantastic critique partner, but also a great friend. She's got a wonderful eye for pointing out things that I'd never see otherwise. I never let too many people read early drafts, but I usually try to get one totally subjective opinion. A reader who isn't used to my writing, who can see things no one else will.
I think that without crit partners, my books wouldn't be anywhere near where they are. They help me peel away the parts of my books that don't work, and find the parts that do. Without them, I'd be lost.
If you haven't already, head on back and read how Margie feels about Crit partners, and then start at the beginning and catch up on everyone else!