If you want to get published, or even just write a good story, editing is more important than the actual writing. Even great authors need help to see what parts of their stories do and don’t work. Part of that help comes from critique partners.
Critique partners are editors or fellow authors who read your story from the perspective of story craftsmen and publishers. They are the ones who will sit with you and talk through the events of your story. They will look through your plot and point out overused tropes and lazy language, strange dialect and crappy worldbuilding, inconsistent characterization or missed opportunities. And, because they need to understand writing as a craft, they can be hard to come by. So where can you find good critique partners?
1) Take a Writing Class!
Taking an in-person writing class is one of the best ways I know to meet people of your writing level and get their feedback. Of course, you can’t rely on in-class activities to get you the critique partners you need. Talk to your classmates outside of class, ask them about their current projects, and ask if you can be a critique partner for them. Be a good critique partner and you may have just earned yourself a writing buddy for years!
2) Look on Social Media!
Facebook has many groups out there specifically for authors to network. When I was young, one of my favorite groups was Go Teen Writers. If you are a teen writer, you can contact people here to ask for advice, practice your characters’ voices, or call for critique partners. Be careful with any personal information, as this is a Facebook group, but the community was very helpful to me as a young author. You can also check out the Go Teen Writers’ website, where you can access a range of resources.
3) Go to Writing Conferences!
Finally, a great place to meet editors and critique partners is writing conferences. There are many yearly writers conferences across the country, most during summer. I would highly recommend that you look for one in your area! Not only will those spare you big travel expenses, but you may meet people nearby! At these events, you’ll be able to talk to published authors from various backgrounds, and some conferences will also offer panels or lectures on publishing and storycraft. Sometimes there will also be people from publishing houses who will listen to your story pitch. You can ask those individuals for their feedback on your story idea and how to improve it.
Writing can be lonely. We all need a second opinion sometimes, or even just acknowledgement of our hard work. Don’t think you need to write all alone. There are so many of us who are in the same position as you and would love to talk with you about it.
That’s why you should consider joining our Geneva chat! It’s full of talented and creative young people who would love to help you get that book out into the world.