Friday, February 22, 2013

MF Author Seeks CP...

The saddest part about being an author is only being able to spend approximately 10% of my writing time doing what I love best--writing. I'm talking about those blissful hours spent with your first draft, lovingly translating the scenes playing out in your head into words.

Family life, promotion time, social networking all suck up valuable time, but the saddest facet of being an author is that the other 90% of writing time is essentially spent rewriting. 

Now some authors like to labor through that first draft alone with only a cat, a cup of coffee and the sound of keyboard clatter for company. Others turn it into a social event, sharing each chapter or even each scene with their colleagues.

Through the process of editing, one factor is nearly universal--the need for a good Critique Partner. Or at the very least, a competent beta reader. The rare author might have a spouse or a significant other who can fulfill this role, but many--like me--are met with frustration.

Oh, my husband may occasionally try to fill in the gap, but his definition of romance are a dozen roses on our anniversary and a Dyson vacuum on my birthday. He gets points for trying. He takes me out to dinner and listens to my publishing plans. He lies awake in bed while I ramble, eyelids propped open with toothpicks and a snore on his lips. But his preferred reading material consists of political blogs, and he speaks C++ and math more fluently than English.

Some authors are lucky enough to be in a monogamous relationship with a fellow writer, a supportive partner who laughs at your jokes, props up your flagging spirit, administers back pats, praise, hugs and hot chocolate. Those of you who are should take this moment to appreciate your CP! Say thanks, take her for coffee, give her a little gift. You have no idea how lucky you are!

Other authors have spent their existence bouncing through a series of short-term relationships, never really hooking up with that one true soul mate. Such relationships might last for a day or a week, a few months if one is fortunate. Most are are active swingers, swapping partners based on the genre or simply the availability of prospective CPs. Many romance authors engage exclusively in same sex relationships because A) there are so few male authors, and B) what do men really know about romance anyway?

There should be an online hookup site for authors seeking CPs. I envision a profile looking something like this:

Married Female Author Seeks Critique Partner to exchange chapters of 3,000 words once per week.

Preferred Genre: Romantic Suspense

Heat Levels: Sweet to Spicy

No Nos: Fine with most anything except M/M and bizarre foot fetishes.

Excerpt: My heroine loves shoes, yachting, and strong, sexy men. She has daddy issues. My hero is a cynical solider-of-fortune who doesn't believe in love and spends much of his time out of the country, rendering a stable relationship impossible. He is emotionally unavailable.

Apply at email address listed below.


  1. LOL I've been here. Not a nice place to be. But--do you know there are online places you can find cps? Yep. I found one group through eHQN's online critique corner. Lovely set of sisters! My other I was invited in person to join, but the one who invited me is the only one near enough to see face to face. The rest are all over the country and England.

    1. Calisa, No, I was not aware of the eHQN site. So far, I've used only the WRP one. Thanks for the ref. :)

      So far I've never had a CP that I actually met face-to-face. :D

  2. I agree. I have one CP at the moment, and she and I have been together for a while. She's invaluable. I'd like another one or two and have been searching, but have found about what you have. It's frustrating at best. And there is a place, actually. lol as well as the one Calisa mentioned. Though I haven't had much luck at either one. It's been mostly hit and miss. I suppose it's a bit like trying on a pair of jeans--have to try on a million pairs before you find the right one or two that fit just perfect. :)

    1. Joanne, Thanks, I'll check it out. :)

      Man, the jeans description is so accurate. I used to wear 501s but then they changed their sizing and nothing ever fit right again. I've occasionally found Calvin Kleins that I like and bounced through a dozen different brand names. So frustrating. Thank God for yoga pants. LOL

    2. "Thank God for yoga pants."--Amen! lol

      Love the new header, by the way!


    3. --Love the new header, by the way!

      Thanks! Did you have any trouble with your browser loading it? It seems so big to me but I can't figure out how to make it smaller.

  3. LOL.. Miss Snark....been there done that!! I have a CP in the UK who I LOVE. Recently, I've been looking for another one who is in the USA. I've had several who are new writers and it's hard to "teach" them not to make the same mistakes I've been through. It seems they were still at that stage of being "married" to their MS. Needless to say, I've yet to find a TRULY thick skinned writer.

    With that said, I write contemporary and erotic if you'd like to see if we're a match!! Email me privately.. puzzlesbytlc at verizon dot net. See this is how you find a ask EVERYONE.

    Are you a RWA member? I mentioned to the editor for RWR about doing a CP list for the magazine and she thought it was a good idea, but thought it might work better being online. She is going to address this to the board and see what they can come up with. Maybe a database on myRWA or something.

    1. Toni, well, writers are artists so we're sensitive for the most part. Personally, I think I have a thick skin but I'm probably just as sensitive as everyone else. LOL To work well with a partner, you really need to know yourself--areas you need help, but also your own strengths. There are simply times when you should not alter something based on a suggestion, because to do so means that you're no longer true to your style.

      No, I'm not in the RWA. I've looked at it, but it always seems pricey and I'm positive that I couldn't keep up with the social aspects of it. Also, my writing interests are pretty diverse. I'm getting ready to publish an urban fantasy short story and a novel, and I like writing humor...

      I'm off to drop you an email. :)

  4. I'm fortunate to have a great CP to work with - invaluable as far as support, encouragement, cheering, bolstering, learning, all the good stuff. I can't imagine going through all this without her. We're on Google Chat almost every day to check in and run our work by each other - you and anyone else are more than welcome to join in (it's easy to get a gmail account if you don't have one) - we love meeting new people and supporting each other.

    Th banner loaded just fine for me - it's a little big height-wise would be the only tweak I would mention!

    1. Thanks, Melissa. Do you have a gmail ID? I do sometimes chat and it sounds like fun. :-)

      I managed to tweak the banner so it's shorter. Thanks for the suggestion!