Being a Critiquer of Consequence

What do you give your critique partners (Cps)? Besides a ration of grief, I mean. I do’t always give high fives unless they really turn a sweet sentence. You know the ones. You read it and your heart catches as you wish you’d come up with it.

This last week, one of my CPs sent me a new synopsis for a new book. I loved it, but one sentence made me stop. I didn’t buy the motivation. So I told her maybe she needs to leave that part out of the synopsis.

She replied that it was important. So, now I have an option. Do I tell her it doesn’t work or do I let her move ahead with a bland character.

We’ve been crit buddies for donkey’s years, and she’s a really good writer. There’s no way I’d let her do it. So I told her so. Then as I was typing the email, I began to brainstorm her back story. I came up with a what if and then hit send.

Ten minutes later my phone rang. There she was, excited because it worked. Now, she took that what if, tweaked it a bit more and came up with one dynamite motivation for this character. One that works and is totally believable.

That’s when the magic happens with CPs. And she’s done the same for me. My 5 Cps are the world’s best. And if you’re an ACFW member, you’ll get to read about them in the next issue. I name them, too.

SO now, what’s the best suggestion your critique partner(s) have ever given you?