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Feb 23, 2021

Critique Partnerships – It’s a yes from me!

By: Skylar Shoar

I’ll begin this post by saying what I always tell my critique partners: all opinions are my own–choose to take from them what you believe will enhance your work.

What is a critique partnership? Why do you need it? How can you get one?

These are all great questions, and every author, especially new or aspiring writers, should aim to know the answers. 


Because as authors, we’re so close to our work that we fail to see its flaws and plot-holes, and downright miss opportunities to make our stories shine. That’s where a critique partner comes in. Now, I know this is daunting; we spend hours, days, weeks, sometimes even months pouring our hearts out on paper, so the thought of someone else ripping our work to shreds is frightening. But it’s necessary. Some writers are blessed with friends or family who are willing to read their work and provide brutally honest feedback. Sadly, this is not the case for everyone.

When I started writing my first novel, I had no idea what a critique partner was. I had no clue that there was a community like CritiqueMatch. I finished my novel and thought, that’s pretty decent, time to find an editor. Oh boy, was I in for a rude awakening. I was lucky to find a good, decent editor who told me straight, “this manuscript isn’t ready.” It was a hard blow to digest, but looking back at it now, I can’t thank her enough because she suggested CritiqueMatch. 

Within days I found a handful of critique partners, and my journey began. Chapter by chapter, the comments and suggestions came flooding in. Some were great, some were awesome, some made me cringe; but you know what? They all made me stop for a moment and look at my story. I realized then that I still had a lot of work to do. 

As time passed, some partners faded away–no hard feelings–we all have lives and other commitments, but I ended up with a handful of people that I will now call upon for every piece of writing I do. Not only did I get to know these people through swapping chapters virtually, but I also grew as a writer because I got to return the favor. The only thing more pleasing than seeing your book baby fly into the world is seeing another writer’s book, which you helped shape in the tiniest way, do the same. 

Like any partnership, there needs to be a spark. Not everyone can work together and that’s okay. But that’s the beauty of CritiqueMatch. So many talented writers are available and looking for their perfect writing buddy. In order to find your match, though, you need to become part of the community. 

No editor will ever see a manuscript of mine again before my trusted critique partners have been through it. Wherever you are in your writing journey, whether you’re still in your first draft or you’ve self-edited several times, I can’t suggest CritiqueMatch enough. It helped me polish my writing, it’s introduced me to like-minded people who understand the qualms of being a writer, and it’s made me feel valuable because I can offer advice to them in return.

In conclusion, a critique partnership, in my humble opinion, is a must for any writer. Not only does it keep you accountable for your work, but it also allows you the opportunity to reciprocate. 


About the author: Skylar Shoar

I am a Romance author with a deep passion for bringing multifaceted, imperfect and deeply personal characters to life.

Born and raised in South Africa, my travels took me firstly to England and then to New Zealand, where I settled for ten years. Upon return to England with my husband and two sons, I left the corporate world behind and took on the new adventure of being a stay-at-home mum.

In my spare time, I love to bake for my family (anything chocolate is a hit in my house), read, spend time with my amazing circle of friends, and of course, submerge myself in the creative pool of bringing characters to life and threading narratives together.

If you enjoy long Romance novels, then the Us Duology is exactly what you need!

For more information on me and upcoming novels please check out my website.