Serendipity & Flying Monkeys (Guest post from a CP)

Dear lovelies, meet Cindy Thomas....

Most of you probably don’t know this, but Danielle and I are critique partners. It all sort of happened by accident, but it’s one of those fortunate accidents that can only be summed up in one word: Serendipity.

We talk often, perhaps not as often as we’d both like, but we try to keep in touch as much as we can. Each conversation is a little different depending on the life/writing/reading/blogging crisis we are experiencing, but one thing is certain—it’s always entertaining.

So, when Danielle asked me to do a guest post here at Frenzy of Noise, this seemed like the perfect idea. I’m going to give you a sample of what a conversation between critique partners can look like. This one is via gchat, but you can just as easily assume this convo is similar in any format.

Me: OMG! I have a new idea I *have* to tell you about. You got a minute?

Danielle: Sure!

Me: Okay, so there’s this girl and she falls into a hole. Then this really hot guy, who turns out to be an undercover superhero pulls her out of the hole. She’s all banged up but he heals her with one touch. Then a meteor falls from the sky and flying monkeys start eating all the vegetables. The hot superhero guy attacks the monkeys with his super high frequency monkey killing sword and saves the world from monkey mind control. What do you think?

Danielle: Uh…did you say the guy was hot?

Me: Yeah.

Danielle: I think it’s great! He has to be hot.

Me: Totally hot. Like smoking hot. Ohhh……maybe his biceps actually shoot out fire!

Danielle: Oh yeah! That’s *so* hot. I’d buy it.

Me: Sweet. You don’t think there are any huge plot holes, though, right?

Danielle: Nah. I mean, you have a damsel in distress, ugly villains and a super hot superhero. It’s going to sell millions.

Me: I love you.

Danielle: I know.

Me: Uh oh. I think one of my kids just broke something. I gotta go!

Danielle: Okay, see ya! Happy writing!

So there you have it. Writing pep talks at their best. Does any of this sound familiar?

Addition from Danielle:

This is pretty accurate for our conversations. She always says “I love you” and I always say “I know.” :) jk. But really, we DO talk a lot about encouragement and ideas and “read this scene because I need to know it doesn’t suck.” And we do read and tell the other if it does suck or not. That’s more important than the encouragement. Most days.

I also wanted to say that I have three people in my crit group (who aren’t necessarily in each other’s group.) This is because they all offer something different to the table. Christina is one, who has read everything I’ve written and is so good at pointing out the technical aspects of my story that it’s ridiculous.

Cindy tells me if something is working or not—and why. She’s also super awesome encourager and motivator, which I need more often than not. Patricia is the other. We’ve spent most of our time together plotting new novels and talking out stories. It’s always good to have someone who can point out what does or doesn’t seem to fit before you’re writing—and well into the story. I also have three other people who I know I can ask and they will offer feedback if I need it. Only one of those three writes, which is always a nice added aspect to get opinions from a reader.

If you are not part of a crit group, I CHALLENGE you to find one. In fact, maybe once school has ended I’ll organize something to connect people if yall think you want it.

Disclaimer: Cindy is not writing a story about flying monkeys and boys with fire-shooting biceps. But maybe she should…that would be hot.


  1. Great post guys! And I agree on how necessary and amazing crit partners are! (Looking at you, D)

    Also, beta readers are great to have too!

  2. This post is fantastic! It's so how critique partners should relate to each other =) And I just laughed so much while reading this lol. thanks for this awesome post!


Thanks for your comment!! I appreciate you stopping by! :)