Thursday, December 11, 2014

What To Look For In A Writing Partner

Working with your fellow writers is the best way to improve your own craft. I've had several writing partners in my journey as a writer. Some were great... Some not. But what makes a good writing partner?

Qualities to look for:

  1. A Better Writer: Partnering up with someone whose craft is well below your own level won't help you. Find a partner who can help you improve where you need it, and vice versa. 
  2. Not A Dick: Perhaps this goes without saying... A partner helps best when they can point out what works or not in a constructive way. 
  3. Another Style: All writers have their own style. Some authors choose to tell their stories with more description than dialogue, a different type of language, or character point of view. However the style is different, embrace it. If your partner's style is too similar to your own, you limit yourself in learning, thinking, and writing in new ways. 
  4. Creativity: Your writing partner should be someone who can easily brainstorm and discuss your story with you. They should have a basic understanding of your genre as well as a perspective different from your own in order to keep ideas fresh. 
  5. Grammar Knowledge: Everyone needs a beta reader before moving on to the next step with their manuscript. The advantage of having your writing partner beta for you is that they can help you edit. A writer will have a better understanding of where and why for punctuation, sentence structure, and word choice. 
Here are what other writers have said when asked: What Do You Look For In A Writing Partner?

"Someone who's fun to chat with, who won't take criticism as a personal slight, and who understands what you're trying to say and do." - Livilla Sanders

"You need to think alike enough to understand each other, but different enough to avoid redundancy." - Richard Bacula

"I need a photonegative of me. Someone who is really good at the exact things I'm not. Someone who can point out my weaknesses without destroying my fragile ego in the process (us writers are a sensitive lot)." - J Thomas Ganzer

"I like a partner that pushes me. I want to be pushed to work harder and set higher goals for myself. A partner who can do this believes in you as a person and will make you a better writer in the long run."- BSM Stoneking

"Honesty, encouragement, perspective & constructive criticism" -Mistress Chase 

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