Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Author Spotlight: Carrie Butler


Please welcome Carrie Butler, author of Strength! Carrie will discuss the benefits of critique partners!
 
Thank you for having me over, Livia! I'm so excited to be here.
 
1. The warm and fuzzies.
You and your critique partner are investing in each other's careers. That's a special bond, and often times, a special friendship. Enjoy it!
 
2. Your CP reads what's on the screen/paper—and that's it.
The whole story isn't playing out inside their heads, so they can spot plot-holes and inconsistencies from a mile away. It's nice to have the perspective of an unbiased outsider.
 
3. The opportunity of education through reciprocation. (Say that three times fast.)
If someone offers to critique your manuscript, you should try to return the favor. Not only will it create a nice working relationship, but it will actually help your own writing/editing. Seriously.
 
4. Everyone brings something different to the table.
Imagine water trickling through a series of filters to eliminate contaminants. It's not unlike the critique process. We all have different strengths, so it's a good idea to have more than one person go over your manuscript. You'll end up with a cleaner, more desirable product.
 
5. Rhino skin. (You'll need it.)
Exposing yourself to critique can be difficult, especially when you're just starting out, but it's a form of conditioning. The more "blows" you take, the tougher you get. After a while, you'll be able to easily distinguish critique from criticism. You might even look forward to it!

Bonus: It prepares you for more serious feedback, like responses from agents and editors.

Thank you Carrie!

20 comments:

  1. Select the right critique partners and it's awesome! I laugh my way through revisions. And my critique partners and test readers are all very different, so it's cool to get the different perspectives.

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    1. Absolutely! The right critique partner can make all the difference. :)

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  2. I like number 5: rhino skin. Definitely a necessity. :)

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    1. Oh, you bet! I think it's the only way to survive in this industry. ;)

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  3. I've never had a critique partner, partly because my manuscripts aren't ready to be critiqued yet. But this list is definitely informative and helpful, as well as convincing. I think that it's good to get outside feedback from people you trust, because then you know that they'll be honest with you without being brutally honest.

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    1. Thank you, NW! I hope you find a wonderful critique partner, when the time comes. :)

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  4. Carrie-- great advice. I've been a critique partner a couple of times and learn with each process to be gentler, more specific, helpful, encouraging, and a cheerleader for the author. I have read so many great books and met so many wonderful authors through being a CP.

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    1. Thank you, Julie! It's interesting how many roles a critique partner ends up playing, isn't it? What a great experience!

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  5. Rhino skin eh? I think I have more like soft fuzzy deer skin! Better work on that :) Thanks Carrie and Livia.

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    1. Haha! " I think I have more like soft fuzzy deer skin!" Oh, Jessie. I love that. :)

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  6. Such a great list! Number 3 is very true. I'm working on one of my critique partners novels and I noticed something another CP told me about me, so I'm helping her fix the same little things. :) And I'm learning not to do them. :) Also, the fuzzies are really nice.

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    1. Thank you, Krista!

      It's funny how that works, isn't it? I love it. :)

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  7. All excellent points. And I've definitely experienced how critiquing others can improve my own writing.

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    1. Well, I don't know about that... :) Thank you, Donna!

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  9. love your list! cp's are so necessary! and multiple ones, even better!

    yay for carrie!!

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