Will We Work?- Critique Relationships

16 Nov

Some people are just difficult. There is no way of getting around it.Through out our lives, we all have to work with people we’d rather push into the mall fountain, but fortunately that isn’t so with Critique Relationships. You have complete control over who you work with, how the relationship will go, and for how long.

But, how do you know if you should work with a writer? How do you know if it will be a good match for you?

That is what we’ll be addressing here.

You see, I’ve critiqued quite a few manuscripts thus far in my life (a very hefty volume if you compare it to my age), and I’ve discovered a couple of ways to avoid getting involved with writers who you’d rather see all soggy in some seriously penny tainted water.

My friend Gabby over at her amazing BLOG (that you should go check out if you have not yet!) had some issues with this recently and it got me thinking that I should share what I know, and so here it is.

First off, let me say that critique relationships are a lot like friend relationships in person. You are not going to become friends with someone you know nothing about, so before you consider critiquing someones work, check them out. Follow their blog, send some emails, talk on Skype. develop a base relationship! This will let you know if your personalities are compatible. Even though, critiquing someones work doesn’t require you to be E-harmony soul mates, it does require a certain level of common ground. After all, it’s a lot easier to take criticism from someone you like than from someone you know nothing about, or worse, don’t like at all. This makes the relationship flow a lot smoother both ways. They like you, you like them!

So, you are acquainted , great! The next step is to look at their writing. ask for the synopsis of their novel that you’ll be looking at. Not only will the actual writing tell you a lot about the person’s skill level, and show you if they know their way around a keyboard,(i.e. if they have issues with grammar, or just generally don’t have a grip on craft). but it will tell you a lot about the person themselves.

If the person acts professional, and sends the email promptly with a polite response, you can pretty much assume that the rest of the critique relationship will be a happy professional experience. professionalism is definitely something you want to look for in a person you’ll be critiquing, as these people will be the ones who take criticism well, and try to apply it as best they can instead of making excuses, and generally being un-accepting of any critique you give.

What i’m saying is that if you get an email that looks like this:


Im supr exxcited to do this myy novel is awesome and here is the synopsis it be in the attach file up thr. I hpe you like it lotzz!



Okay, you now have their synopsis, and you are feeling pretty good. You like the premise, and the person seems professional and nice.By this point, if red lights are going to be flashing they would, but I have one more thing I do before fully committing to the relationship. I have them send me their, novel, but tell them that I will send them the first edited chapter within in 2-7 days, and that they can look over it. If there are any issues, and things just aren’t working, I make it clear that we can end the relationship there, no hard feelings. This not only gives you a chance to look over what you will actually be working with, but it also gives the author a chance to give you a pass/fail and helps them to feel comfortable with you working on their piece.

These are just my tips for working with others. Anybody have critique relationship troubles before? Have any tips that have helped you out?

PS: Sister’s Red review should be up by tomorrow night.


5 Responses to “Will We Work?- Critique Relationships”

  1. The Elite of Just Alright November 17, 2011 at 6:54 pm #

    So if you get an email saying…”Yes, I do write book with you. Me need lots of timey to write bookey. Ok w you?” I should ignore it? ;D

    • nkeda14 November 17, 2011 at 10:46 pm #

      I’m going to go out on a limb here and say yes… Haha.
      Unless it’s your little sister or something then you have to read it anyway! 😉

      • The Elite of Just Alright November 18, 2011 at 4:55 am #

        Hahahahaha but considering the fact I don’t have a little sister, if my little sister sent me an email, I’d be just a tad bit worried. 😉

  2. gabriellan November 18, 2011 at 6:39 pm #

    The people that I had a relationship with prior to becoming crit partners have been the best ones to work with. I know I’m in over my head with the person I’m currently working with, so the two of us will be having a very hands-off, little-communication partnership. It won’t be half as rewarding as the relationships I have with my other crit partners, but a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do!

    • nkeda14 November 18, 2011 at 9:52 pm #

      Well, not EVERY relationship will work out. I believe you can learn just as much from the bad, as from the good!

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