07 February 2011

Love to the CPs

I have the best kick-butt critique partners in the world. No really, I do.

For those of you who don’t know, a critique partner (CP) is the rarest of individuals who works countless hours, giving up sleep and sanity, to read my chapters over, and over again to tell me what’s not working in them. She might make me cry, cuss a little, and stomp my feet in protest, but she will not let me quit, or give up on my dream.

Think: Drill Sergeant with a red pen and heels.

As a reader, I want to say thank you to all the CPs out there. Because of you, we have great books to read. Because of you, authors keep writing.

I am blessed to have a group of CPs. These ladies are phenomenal authors who give up chunks of their time to help ME write better. It’s like having a treasure chest of precious jewels, each one dazzling and brilliant. Together they help my stories sparkle. They kick my butt, watch my back and lift my heart. In a word, they are: priceless.

A CPs job is hard. Mine are not there to tell me how gorgeous, wonderful, and fantastic I am. That’s my mom’s job. No, they are supposed to tell me where I am falling down on MY job—holes in the plot, not digging deep enough, characters too flat, characters gone wild…

My CPs are not the kind of friends who let me go outside with underwear on my head and tell me the cotton matches my eyes. They will say, kindly mind you, that underwear on my head is stupid, whether is matches my eyes or not, and tell me to move it to where it belongs. This keeps me from sending a story into the world before it's ready, which means that readers won't see the ugly holes in the waistband or the strings pulling away from the seams.

While I try to give back by being a CP to each of these amazing writers, at times I feel like Michelangelo’s assistant, standing by, offering advice while he creates David.

“Um, Michelangelo, you missed that little spot right there, might want to smooth it out a bit.”

Here's to the CPs. Hug one today.

And if you have a great critique story, I’d like to hear it! Post your comments and questions here.

www.kimberleytroutte.com
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