I have been fortunate to have a group of great CPs. I am not someone who believes you must have critique partners who write in your own genre--although I will admit I always try to have at least one CP who writes in my genre.
CPs can do so much more than just read over your manuscript. They can provide a supportive network as well as a shoulder to cry on when you are having difficulties writing. Just this weekend (since I could not email anyone with the electricity down), I talked to my CPs in South Carolina and in Texas.
Linda, who lives in South Carolina, did yeoman’s labor for me on Bad Boy. She read and re-read chapters on short notice without complaint. When we talked today, she gave me a writing tip she had picked up from RWA:
To help you locate passive language in your manuscript, run a search for instances of the word “by.” By doing so you will uncover sentences with passive phrasing. For instance--I also phoned my CP, Red, who lives here in Texas although several hundred miles from me. She and I talked for an hour this weekend, brainstorming ideas for our next novels. We are both interested in writing a paranormal, and it was fun to bounce ideas off each other.
“She was bit by the dog”
Could be better said--
“The dog bit her”
Meanwhile, a couple of my writing buddies and I exchange weekly goals every Sunday night--to keep us honest and on track with our writing careers.
I could not write if I did not have my band of trusted writing pals at my side. I treasure each and every one of them.