Now, the answer is quite simple: just make some friends. These are the people who are going to be honest about your writing, who are going to cheer you up and cheer you on, who are going to help you the most. Maybe you just want an acquaintance, but I definitely suggest a friend.
But let's get down to business:
Where to go
- If you're determined to know your editing partners in person, try a local writing group. You can meet people via NaNoWriMo or in writing classes too.
- There's also the standard online methods to meet people. Check out writing blogs and there is an impressive writing community just waiting to chat with you on Twitter.
- Go to reputable writing forums like Verla Kay's Blue Boards and Nathan Bransford's forums
- There are a ton of social writing websites that are great places to meet other serious writers. Some good examples are Inkpop, Book Country, Figment, and FictionPress. Goodreads is mostly for readers, but you're likely to find some writers prowling about.
- There is also the super specialized Ladies Who Critique. It's essentially a dating website for finding critique partners, and despite the name, people of both genders are welcome.
What to look for
- The kind of person who can be what you need. Different writers need help with different things, so make sure to find CPs that you're compatible with. The best way to test this is to trade pages with someone (say, 50 pages) and see if you like each other's critiquing style.
- Someone who can separate personal and professional. Critiquing isn't about hurting each other, or reacting poorly to fair criticism.
- A friend. It helps to know someone and respect someone. Like I said earlier, this isn't super necessary . . . or maybe even what you want . . . but it's definitely a perk. I mean, you'll get to read their awesome writing too!
So how does that sound? Have you used any of these methods to find an alpha reader, a critique partner, or a beta reader? Better yet, do you have any further recommendations for those of us who have been on the hunt? If so, tell me in the comments!