Feb 11, 2011

The Perfect Critique Reader

Matilda reading Dog Show Detective on her iPad
There's a lot of advice online on how to find a critique partner. Here are the best tips I found.
  1. Know what you want from your critique - do you want advice on how to fix the plot problems or do you just want to know if the story is paced well?  Pick the sort of person to suite the job, are they literary or just great spellers?
  2. How much effort do you want to make? Are you happy to swap manuscripts and have another writer critique your work while you critique theirs? If you think you just don't have the time for that, then you might want to find a keen reader who is happy to critique your work for a free read, or pay a professional to critique your work. You can check out sites like Novel Doctor, The Manuscript Appraisal Company, or,
  3. Jessica Andersen in a guest post on The Knight Agency suggests you find a writer with strengths that differ from yours. I'm not strong on dialogue, so I'd  look for someone who writes great dialogue to pick up on my weak spots.
  4. You can find a critique partner at your local writer's group, or by joining your state writer's organisation and checking their website for notices. Or you could even advertise for a critique partner online through your blog, facebook or twitter.
  5. Put up a notice at your local library looking for readers of your genre, that's were readers gather!
  6. Writing childrens books? Then let kids critique your work. My middle grade novel is being read by my kids and their friends who are submitting notes on the experience. Matilda, my youngest, is one of my most astute readers, she has no problem at all telling me when the story gets slow.
Emily reading my book on her Kindle


  1. Great suggestions.
    I'd add if you can pick a few people who have differing tastes. Different viewpoints pick different problems/strngths

  2. I am clearly not one of those whose strength is spelling.

  3. Al - that's okay, your typing doesn't show a spelling weakness, but an enthusiasm to get your words down quickly. True sign of a writer.

    Colene - Thanks :-)

  4. Those are really great tips! Thanks for the advice!