And they’re all men.Morgan and my little brother Jon get the first pass – Jon (Who is going to kill me for posting his goofy devil horns picture. I couldn't help myself!) is my logic man. He can spot a plot hole from a million miles away. Morgan focuses on grammar and clarity. He also always seems to find the threads and story elements that I managed to hide from myself during the drafting process.
My crit group, Smyrna Writers, gets the next draft. Mark and Bob are the group’s core and their insights are invaluable. They’re objective and honest, yet know me and my work well enough to comfortably be able to tell me when I’m being an idiot and when I’ve hit the bullseye.
My friend Al gets the “I think it’s almost done” draft. He’s like a fiction barometer. If I don’t make him laugh, I didn’t do my job.All of them provide a much needed peek into the male mind and heart that, I hope, makes my heroes much more realistic.
This didn’t really register with me until the subject came up during a message board conversation with Anitra and some of the other TM’s and it made me wonder how many other romance writers have the luxury of feedback from a male perspective. And as wonderful as my guys are, it also made me worry that I don’t get enough female insight.
What do you guys think? Do any of you have male crit partners? Would you if you had the opportunity? Does gender really matter when critiquing romantic fiction?