I’m drowning here, and you’re describing the water!
-Melvin Udall, As Good As It Gets
This post is about the importance of critique partners and beta readers.
So you wrote a book and had it edited, your mama and your friends love it. So obviously, you’re ready to hit the query trenches.
I learned this one the hard way.
Even your smartest, most well read loved ones are not enough. And your editor? Their job is to clean up your book with out destroying the integrity of your writing. But if your integrity is questionable, you have a problem.
NOT ONE OF THESE PEOPLE ARE GOING TO TELL YOU YOUR NOVEL SUCKS.
So who will tell you your shit sucks? Hopefully your CP will. And perhaps a beta or two who have no need to stroke your fragile ego.
So now that you know you need one, where do you find a CP?
I only have one answer for this, and please advise that this is only my opinion, I advise you to take to the internet. Join a writing group, connect with fellow bloggers on WordPress (👍) and cut a deal.
If you don’t find someone suitable to CP with, you could look up people willing to beta read for a small fee. Or, if you are time and cash-strapped, you could check out the super awesome resource http://www.querytracker.com that I mentioned in Query, Querying, Queried…and sign up to post in the forums. Here you can not only post your query for anonomous critique, you can also submit your first five pages for a critique too! Just remember to reciprocate.
Write on Writers, Cheers! Amy