Sarah has the blog chain control for this round. She asks:
Do you work with critique partners? How did you find your crit pals, and what influence have they had on your work?
I do work with crit partners, although I would like to work with more people. I do believe the more eyes on your work, the better novel you can create. Each individual person will have their own unique take on a story. And this is the greatest advantage of being a writer. Writing a story to touch people in different ways, bringing out individual (and hopefully positive) emotions concerning your story.
Having different people give their own opinions, and taking those opinions to craft a tight story, guarantees success in getting published. I believe this, even if it might take a bit of time to find that "dream" agent and that excited publisher.
I had written a total of three books, received numerous rejections for one, before I started to learn more about the publishing industry and the need to have a crit partner. I found a crit partner for my first novel, Stephen Parrish. He gave me awesome advice for my mystery novel. He is a tough crit partner, but when he finds something that he likes about the novel, he won't hesitate to tell you. I received great advice for the novel. I found him when he sent me an email, saying how he enjoyed reading my comments over at Nathan Bransford site. I asked if he could read my story, and he gave me great comments.
Another crit partner is our blog chain buddy Eric Stahlsworth. I met Eric on my blog, through a comment he left. I'm not positive how he found me but I'm thankful he did. Eric was the person to invite me into the blog chain. And he loves Poe and Stephen King. What better person to have crit my works?
Eric gave me a wonderful response, balancing what he liked about the story with what needed improvement. I was so grateful he pointed out my weaknesses (I'm shaky at writing those stellar beginnings that are suppose to draw a reader into the story).
Surprisingly, I have yet to reciprocate. And I believe that is the most important part about being a crit partner. To offer honest and constructive criticism to another person's novel. I'm willing and able. I'm just waiting for that novel to drop into my lap.
So GET WITH IT, ERIC! Finish that first book.
Visit Katrina's post before mine and Eric's posts tomorrow.