Working with a Critique Partner

A few weeks ago, something awesome and unexpected happened. A writer named Poppy left a comment on my blog. I replied, then she found me on Twitter, and all of a sudden, I seemed to be bumping into her all over the internet! That's when I decided to learn some more about her. I found her blog (the adorably named Poppy Writes a Book) and read everything she'd written. I was so impressed with how dedicated she was to writing, how hard she works, and how well she keeps herself accountable. I also really liked the sound of her WIP, Season of the Defender.

Poppy had a tab on her blog called Crit-Harmony in which she expressed a desire to find a critique partner (CP). When I read this, I had just shelved my second novel and was gearing up to write the third. With this new book, I was determined to do things differently from my previous books. Finding a CP was just up my alley. So I summoned my courage and sent Poppy an email.

I won't lie. I was super anxious while I waited for a response. I was afraid she'd email back and say that I wasn't what she was looking for or that she'd already found someone else. But to my delight, her response came quickly, and it was full of enthusiasm. She complimented my blog (my blog?!?) and over the next few days, we emailed back and forth. We were interviewing each other to see if we were a good match. Derek was surprised by how seriously I was taking the whole thing, but finding a critique partner was not something I took lightly. Poppy was spot-on when she titled her search for a CP Crit-Harmony. The process is very similar to dating. We had to make sure we were compatible in all kinds of ways - how quickly we worked, how far along we were with our WIPs, our goals in terms of finishing said WIPs, etc. Eventually we exhausted our supplies of questions and basically shook hands. We agreed to be in it for the long haul, helping each other along until both of our WIPs were finished and query-ready.

Finding a critique partner is the best thing I've done in a long time. Knowing that Poppy is always working (and she is always working!) keeps me motivated to work, too. We help each other iron out wrinkly plot points, cheer for each other's characters, and sometimes just discuss our feelings about the publishing industry and this career we're trying to get ourselves into.

I've been thinking for a while about how to introduce Poppy on this blog. Ultimately I decided to interview her. Tomorrow you'll get to learn more about Poppy when I post her responses to my questions. You'll get to read about her WIP, her writing process, and more. Plus, she'll be posting an interview of me over on her blog.

P.S. There's a post over at Poppy's blog about how we met from her perspective. She's going to keep my identity secret from her readers until tomorrow, but it's still a fun read!