For any writer, new or professional, CP is an acronym that will be as important as breathing or knowing the alphabet. CP is short for Critique Partner and if you didn’t know that already, now you know, because it is life altering.
Those two little letters is such an integral part of your writing world and future career that will never end. Writing is a lonely, deep in your thoughts, singular act but yet once that MS is done, it takes a village to get that baby out into the outer world called publishing.
And the first person you need to set their eyes on your MS isn’t an agent, it’s a CP, to help catch little and BIG issues you may have missed because your eyes are glazed and numbed by repetition of your own words, and you practically can recite your MS like a long, never-ending monologue.
HERE IS WHAT A CP MEANS TO ME:
Critical Person Clause Perfector Character Perfector
Cheering Panel Caring Person Correcter Plotter
SO, how do you know how to pick or find a CP?
You need to be honest. You need to be kind. You have to be committed. You have to be open to new ideas and then, you decide what works and doesn’t. Your Critique Partner is not there to write, or rewrite, your words for you but they are there to give suggestions from their brilliant point of view.
They should unload all their fabulous ideas and questions, then you decide what is best for YOUR MS.
I say to be honest as well, for you need to know what is your weakness. My weakness is grammar. I slaughter it… in a bad way BUT I also slaughter, prose and imagery and plots and forward moving action like HERCULES on speed. I mean to use that example in a good way.
This honesty is very important because you need to find a CP that can fill your weakness and you fill in theirs… To fill in all the strengths to build the best foundation. And, you need at least two CP’s…so after a clean revise, you have another pair of writerly eyes to see if there was anything missed. And, there ALWAYS something. I promise. And, that’s why you need a CP village.
But, at the same time you have to also be able to communicate what you need help in too. And remember, your critique partner is there to want to HELP you, not slaughter your words, they are telling you their thoughts because you asked. Not because they want to discourage you. You asked them to find mistakes/questionable things, and be the nit-picker of your words, so you can make sure you didn’t miss anything. Before you push that all important button, SEND to your most IMPORTANT, pickiest, one chance for a hit, reader, your future agent of your dreams.
So go! Find your village! Find your VICP! (VERY IMPORTANT CRITIQUE PARTNER…heehee)
What? You don’t know where to find these awesome Critical Partners? Well, let me help, by telling you where I found my wonderful village:
Maggie Stiefvater runs an annual CP Love Connection in January but you can always check throughout the year to see if anyone is still searching for a CP love connection. http://maggiestiefvater.com/blog/2015-critique-partner-love-connection/
Megan Grimit hosts an amazing twitter #CPMATCH you can also follow Megan on @MeganGrimit http://megangrimit.blogspot.com/p/cp-matchmaker.html
I hope this post helps you find your village because it’s awesome to share your dreams and live and breath words with someone as passionate about getting published. To ultimately, share your STORY with the WORLD!
And, when you finally get there, you’ll have an entire VILLAGE TO PARTY WITH!!! heh heh heh!
Thank you for stopping by and write you later, way past twilight!