Monday, December 14, 2009

When Good Critique Partners Go Bad

A couple of weeks ago I had lunch with my friend and former critique partner, Nancy.

Yep, that's right. Former critique partner. And still a friend.

I hear so many stories about folks whose critique groups implode, either through mismatch of personalities, callous behavior or downright nastiness. In most cases, folks stop talking altogether.

Here's a clue - it takes adult behavior to make a critique group work. It takes even more adult behavior to recognize when a critique situation isn't working and handling everyone's feelings with finesse.

In our case, Nancy and I had such opposite writing styles and genres--hers is light, innocent young adult and mine is snarky, violent urban fantasy--that we weren't really helping each other. And we knew it.

This doesn't mean we don't encourage each other, commiserate with the rejections and cheer on the baby steps toward publishing. It just means we can't give the hardcore feedback the other person really needs to grow as a writer.

So we take pleasure in each other's company occasionally while dissecting the latet bestseller over lunch.

Okay, we also drool over Taylor Lautner's abs.

Don't tell our husbands.

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