Okay. Time for some blog chainin' :)
This round's question is from the lovely Sarah. She asks:
Do you work with critique partners? How did you find your crit pals, and what influence have they had on your work?
First answer: Yes, I have critique partners. Two. And no, you can't have them :)
Second answer: I found them through the wonderful world of the blogosphere. My first CP ever had commented on agent Mary Kole's Critique Connection post. I recognized her from her blog, which I followed and enjoyed. Since I didn't have a CP, I decided to email her, and waited for her reply. Luckily, she took me on as CP, and we've been together for over a year. We actually belonged to a critique group, but since I prefer to share my pages once the whole thing is done (instead of just a few pages every three weeks, and while still drafting), I left the group. But she stayed with me!
*hugs first CP ever*
My second CP and I have a similar story. She'd submitted to Natalie Whipple's Crit Partner Classifieds post (yes, I'm a stalker. Don't tell anyone...). I read the description she'd written about her project and could not. Stop. Laughing. Also, she loves Veronica Mars. Done deal. So I emailed her, and lo and behold, we hit it off. We've been together since this past February, and I currently owe her the longest email in the history of emails.
Third answer: Their influence on my work is HUGE. Both CPs get rambling emails with new WIP ideas, writerly frustrations, and of course, sample pages. I have this annoying habit of starting and quitting a project, and they manage to both shout at me and cheer me on. But what I enjoy most about having two set of eyes looking at my work is how they sometimes spot the same problem, and how sometimes they spot problems the other didn't. One CP is a pro with sentence/scene structure, character development, plot holes; another CP is a genius at dialogue, voice, setting, and that ever-elusive thing called tension.
I do think I drive them crazy with my whole "Oh, you know what? I'm not feeling this story anymore" attitude, but they haven't kicked me to the curb yet! *crosses fingers*
And who are my awesome CPs, you ask?
Without them, I'd be WAY more lame than I already am :)