I was matched up with my Critique Partner (CP) by someone in a state-wide writers group. Fortunate, fortunate me. She helps me in so many ways. Here's how I count the ways:
1. My CP is an ear nipper when she finds my Boo Boos.
Example Boo Boo: [ He winded at Jane as he handed her the drink. ]
CP says: You probably meant 'k' instead of 'd'.
My typing fingers are dyslexic. Left middle finger, right middle finger, left middle finger, right middle finger.
Another example Boo Boo: [ Rolly gazed around, looking content and fortunate to be there. ]
CP says: Can a person actually look fortunate?
Well, of course he can. I thought it and wrote it, didn't I? But, well, yeah, okay, I guess. Damn it, she's right.
2. My CP is a cattle prod when she finds my Uh Ohs.
Example Uh Oh: [ Jane nodded. "Okay," she said quietly. Rolly looked back at Jane expectantly. ]
CP says: Telling with the adverbs; try showing instead.
Roger that. Third one this page. How is she putting up with me?
Another example Uh Oh: [ Jane grimaced and looked disgusted for a few seconds. But then Rolly noticed: Jane's whole body seemed to relax and a far away smile appeared on her face. ]
CP says: Head hopping, again; Jane POV was the goal, right?
Sigh. Bang head on desk.
3. My CP is a hand grenade when she finds my Oh Craps.
Example Oh Craps: [ whole book ]
CP says: The antagonist is kind of cardboard one-dimensional.
CP says: Jane couldn't have known about the accident; she was in a coma at the time.
CP says: I thought Rolly wanted a new life, but now I realize I was getting that all wrong.
Claw my way out of the crater of self doubt. Slowly. This really hurts. I'm guilty of weak characterization, plot blunders, and cluelessly misleading narrative. How many times am I going to have to rewrite this book? Answer: It will be fewer the better I learn from my CP.
Are you not as fortunate as I am to have a great proofreader and editor? Well, get thee to a CP!
Got one already? Lucky you.