Sunday, July 24, 2011

A Great Crit Partner Will (Crit Diaries)

A great crit partner is the cross between your best friend, a perfect grammarian, someone you've never met, a wonderful writer, and your biggest fan.

Assuming she is the perfect balance of all these things, she will:

  • Tell you when your main character is being dense.
  • Tell you when your romantic hero is acting like a douchebag.
  • Remind you that, though the action you've written seems like fun, it is only possible in Mary Poppins. Or the Matrix.
  • Tell you when your romantic hero is acting like an old man.
  • Correct your dialogue tag punctuation. Again. And again and again and again. And...oh! One more time.
  • Scold you when your main character is being denser.
  • Tell you when your romantic hero is creepy, creepy, EW, CREEPY, Leigh Ann!
  • Scream at you when your main character is THE DENSEST GIRL THAT EVER LIVED.
  • Fire up the cheese-o-meter and tell you when no couple, no matter how much in love they are, would ever say that to each other.
  • Remind you about birth control. Not yours, your character's. (Or maybe yours too.)
  • Tell you that if your characters are going to talk that way and/or use that language, you might as well be writing GA (geriatric adult) fiction.
  • Endure (and sweetly respond to) dozens of insipid emails from you with titles like, "Let's talk about kissing"
  • Give you permission, and even encouragement, to write more kissing scenes.
  • Add up the number of days that have passed in your story.  Remind you that 10 days does not equal 1 week.
  • Read a scene a second time. Tell you that's still not good enough. She knows you can do better.
  • Give you query fever.
  • Read the scene a third time. Tell you to do the happy dance, because now you've got it. And she knew you would.
  • Talk you down from query fever.
  • Knock you over the head with stories of her form rejections to save your mortal soul from query fever.
  • Break your heart.
  • Cheer you on.
  • Make everything about your story SO. MUCH. BETTER.

Thanks, Gina.
Can't wait to see your gorgeous book in print. It is a pleasure to read and a privilege to give feedback, and even more of a privilege to get feedback from you.

PSA: I seriously THANK GOD for the day that Gina agreed to read my atrocious first draft. She has been my biggest cheerleader on this project, and if I ever make it to publication some day, she'll be a huge part of the reason. She's not mean, beastly or monstrous - she gave me just the critique I needed. And she rules. Okay, on with the show.


  1. Oh my. I am so humbled. I don't know whether to laugh at how hysterically funny this was, or cry at the wonderful compliments you gave me.

    Just remember, the person who has to be happiest with it is YOU... this is your baby, your dream. You only have to take my suggestions when you find them helpful, IF you find them helpful. (Do I really scream? Because I don't mean to!)

    Having said that... I'm down for a kissing conversation whenever, wherever. <3

  2. @Gina - don't worry, there are plenty of things I didn't change. I only took about 90% of your suggestions, I think. :-)
    Also - I don't think it's possible to scream at someone you've never actually spoken to. :)