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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Insecure Writer's Support Group (6)

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!  Posting is first Wednesday of every month. Click here for more info.

You criticize me and I'll criticize you.
We'll hate each other. We'll appreciate each other. We'll fall-in-words.
Then one of us gets dumped by the other . . . and all hell breaks lose for the person dumped. 

Critique Partners . . . some come and go, others stick together, and some simply don't work out. But what happens if you do work out, and then for unforeseen circumstances, you have to go your separate paths? I would assume in some ways you would feel stuck or that your writing would suffer a bit. Mine would suffer a lot. They are, after all, a very important part in our writing process. 

I have my team: my CP's, my betas, my cheerleaders AND heart-crushers, my cover designer, my editor, my husband, my mother, and my kids. I know I would suffer if I was to lose any of their support (yes, the kids support me even if they don't know it. I'm their mother- I said so), but I want to focus on the CP's at the moment. The ones I have totally get me and I would be lost if for whatever reason our partnership ends. Obviously, I wouldn't be the one leaving them since I already plan on stalking them until they give in and pledge allegiance until the end of times. But since there's no way to know how that will turn out, I wonder how people deal with this kind of issue. Maybe they take time to mourn, they throw a party, or do they just move on to the next one? *shrugs*

There is another side of course. I'm also their CP and I'm insecure about what I have to offer them. I can be brutally honest, because after all that is what I signed up for and hope its what they expect. This doesn't mean I know what I'm talking about, though. I just share my opinion, nag them a bit here and there, and throw some ideas at them. But who knows? They may not always be into that kind of kink. I'm that person who starts regretting notes and sweats bullets right after I've hit "send". Then I cross my fingers, and hope they still wanna be my friends after they're done. So . . . I might just be the one to push them away, either by annoying them to the point of hate or by not helping them enough. I don't know. But since we're here, I will tell you two things: 1- I hope neither of them read this and get ideas about leaving me, and 2- If they do break up with me, you are all going to help me kidnap, tickle, and get them drunk enough so I can force them to sign a life-long contract. 

Deal? That was my plan all along, write this and have you read it, and now that you know, you'll go down as accomplices . . . unless we do this right. And if you feel as strongly as I do about my CP's, no worries! I got your back. I will sign up to help you keep yours. (You're welcome.)

* * * Special announcement * * *
There is a contest going on for those who help spread the word about IWSG. For more information visit the website here. Good luck!

48 comments:

  1. Change is always worrisome. People come and go on a team, sometimes. Sometimes the place-fillers are as good as the leav-ers. Scary, though. I will help you kidnap your CP's if they try to leave. I'm a naval officer's daughter and I understand knots. I also cook well and we can entice them to stay with some delicious food. Considering the how your book looks (I'm getting a copy) it's a winning team.
    Good post!
    Diana at About Myself By Myself

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    1. Diana, I'm glad to read this comment. You are officially hired!

      Oooh, I hope you enjoy Kinetic when/if you do get it ;)

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  2. As long as your partners know up front that is what they are getting, then that's cool. Some people need that kind of honesty.
    I've had to change critique partners, but I hope one of them in particular sticks with me until the end. And fortunately, I haven't burned out either test reader.

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    1. Oh they know what they're getting, but I still don't want to scare them away lol

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  3. You are very fortunate to have kept the same CPs for so long! I have a local group with members that come and go. Right now we're experiencing a bit of a lull, which I'm sad about. But thank goodness for online writing friends! I've always got someone I can turn to for beta reading and I love returning the favor. Bottom line is, you find a way to persevere!
    Good luck!
    --December IWSG co-sponsor

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    1. Yes, thank goodness for online friends :)

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  4. Sounds like you're a great CP. I'm honest and expect the same thing, even if it's something I don't want to hear. ESPECIALLY if it's something I don't want to hear.

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    1. I'm with you. I want the truth, the hard ugly truth, and nothing but the truth… in a nice way :P

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  5. I have crit partners who are awesome, I try to give them constructive feedback. We are honest where each other's writing is concerned.

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    1. That's the best. Hold on to them and start planning a way to keep them should they ever want to run away :D

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  6. You have a great universe of support! As writers, and as humans, we develop insecurities everywhere. Be happy you have the CPs you need now, or in other words, enjoy your plentiful blessings! Writer’s Mark

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    1. Yes, I like the universe as is, so I'm praying hard I can keep it as is ;)

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  7. And to think the one I consider my best friend right now started as a beta reader and crit partner. Of course I can totally understand your concern. If you ever need a dragon and 150 badass dwarves to help you keep your crit partners in place, I know a very effective group. ;)

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    1. I knew you would have my back, Al! Yay for badass dwarves, just what I need :P

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  8. I haven't quite reached the CP stage yet - I don't have any. When I eventually get some, I imagine I'll be much the same as you.

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    1. When you get the ones worth keeping, give them nice treats so they stay put! lol

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  9. I've never had consistent critique partners. If I ever get a good one, I will hang on to him or her.

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    1. I've been lucky so I say if you find an awesome one, hang on for dear life.

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  10. I've tried out a couple of CP's but they never seem to follow thru. I'm currently CP-free which is probably a good thing since I really having nothing to exchange for them to read right now. Maybe I would make a better beta for someone but my problem with that is I love to crit.

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    1. "Loving to crit" is the way you help them best, I think. :)

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  11. I'm also the type that starts freaking out when I hit "send." I really don't do well at all with handing out criticism, I admit that I'm not a good CP!

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    1. Ha! I'm sure you are a sweet but honest CP ;)

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  12. I love my CP's and would be LOST without them!!! But I hear ya, it's also a scary relationship that definitely breeds insecurities. Thankfully I'm pretty close with mine, so *hopefully* we'd be honest if anyone felt they were getting the short end of the deal. And I like you're whole kidnapping idea...I'm going to store that one away and use it if need be ;)

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    1. Very scary! But yes, honesty is key. Oh, and call me up if you need help with their kidnappings :D

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  13. I'm sure you're great at telling people what they need to hear to improve their writing, Katherine and your team does the same for you. Since you're working together, everyone should be able to offer helpful advice. Always wishing you nothing but the best.

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    1. Thanks, Deanie! My team rocks… that's why I have this backup plan o_o

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  14. I have a few CPs that I never want to lose either. Especially after falling out of touch with some writing buddies who were good betas. I've had a hard time finding someone to replace them and I shudder to think of finding someone to replace my CPs.

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    1. I refuse to even think I would have to replace mine, that would suck. Best of luck finding great betas again ;)

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  15. After reading this, I need to go email my CP right now. :)

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  16. I only had one CP for my first published novel. For the sequel, I was lucky that 8 people volunteered to read it before sending it to my editor . . . I guess that must mean they were interested in the first story enough to want to read it first :-) Best of luck to you!

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    1. That's a nice 'turn out' of volunteers! :D

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  17. Hahaha! You're funny, but I know what you mean about CPs. They're priceless. I'm lucky to have had a fantastic, pretty stable group for almost 5 years. By happy coincidence, 4 of us got book contracts and 2 got agents this year, so we're doing something right. I definitely give my honest opinion but try to be as diplomatic and cheerful about it as possible. I definitely volunteer to hold down any escaped CPs so you can tickle them into submission!! lol

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    1. That sounds like an amazing group! Oh yeah, definitely there's a way to soften the blow, we want the same after all. The ugly truth said to our faces, but you know, nicely lol

      And thanks for signing up, you rock!

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  18. whoa lady...that was some inner thoughts going on. you show some zang girl! any one that has you as a CP is lucky!! and because your so cute!

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    1. Hahaha I guess I felt passionately about it! :D

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  19. I'm glad you've found some CP's that work well for you--I wish you many happy years together! :)

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    1. Thanks, Lara! See? Every year by my side is a happy one, I like the way you think :P

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  20. CPs are hard to find. I'll be sending out the CP request before year's end and looking forward to the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly for my MS.

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    1. That's exactly what we need, the Good, the Bad and the Ugly! I hope you get someone who can be sweetly brutally honest with you ;)

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  21. Recently a friend asked on FB for critique on her new blog banner. Everyone else said it was lovely, I said it was lovely but ....... Turns out she thought the same as me but wanted confirmation. However not everyone feels comfortable being honest and critical, in case, as you say, they don't take it well. But if you ask for a CP then you need to be ready for, as Stephen right above me says, the Good, the Bad and the Ugly!
    Suzanne @ Suzannes Tribe
    x

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    1. I completely understand that sentiment. I wouldn't say I feel comfortable offering honest critique but if I don't, then how am I helping them exactly? We won't grow and get far if we don't help the other person improve, or if they don't do the same for us. Some things are just opinions and can be ignored, of course, but some are screaming for a little bit more of attention and I'm here to make them be heard lol. I agree with Stephen as well ;)

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  22. Oh my word. Is this what's going to happen when I ask for CP's? Am I going to inherit The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. LOL *sighs*
    I wish there was some magic formula that resulted in well-matched CP's to simply recognise one another... maybe in another life time... yeah... right....

    Hope you're well S.Katherine? And I hope that Kinetic is selling like hot cakes!

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  23. I love my CPs too! My style is a lot like yours--I ask questions, voice opinions, mark things I see and then hope for the best. The way I see it is this 1. I'm letting them see inside a reader's brain, 2. It's their job to decide what comments to act on and what isn't worth their time. It's worked out so far. I know I've had to learn to look at comments differently to understand what's important to my story and what is just a difference in opinion.

    I hope your CPs never leave you!

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  24. Finding the right CP or critique team can be almost as hard as finding the right editor or agent.

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  25. I hope when it's time for me to find CP partners, I can do as well as you have. If they read this post, I think they will feel the love and never leave, although they might threaten just for the booze.

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  26. Here to stay, great post. [CP HUGS] :)

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  27. Honesty is always the best policy, especially when it comes to CP's. I'm so grateful to have you on my team. Bring on the brutal...I can take it!

    I had to delete comment above for spelling error! Lol Where is Lynda Dietz when I need her????

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