The Importance of Critique Groups

Although the idea of a writer tucked away in some cabin in the hills, tapping feverishly on an old typewriter, with only the birds and bears for company, is a romantic one -- it just isn't what today's writer is all about. If you want to be a published writer -- get thee to a critique group!

Getting feedback on your work is imperative. It doesn't mean you have to take all the advice you get, but if they're all saying the same thing, then you'd better do some serious thinking or re-thinking.

Why are critique groups important?
  • They catch errors that you have overlooked.
  • They bring their own experiences to the table.
  • They have an overview of the entire thing, whereas you have been revising so much, you may have lost sight of the 'big picture'.
  • They not only offer great suggestions, but support and commiseration during setbacks.
There are many great free critique groups on the net. I've linked to two of them in the right column. Avail yourself of the opportunity to interact with a community. If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a community to get an author published.
-- Ben

9 comments:

You could not say anything more true. Critique groups are what have taken me from a closet writer to a published one. I almost feel like my groups are a crutch now. I can't send anything out without their approval.

But then, I know my work is that much better when its been through that filter, so it's worth it.

I love my groups! Even when they hate my stories...

 

I love my groups too! Esp a certain YA group that loves me even though I don't write YA. lol...

Critique groups are very important, for the reasons you said. Great reminder post!

 

I don't have a critique group, but I do tons of beta switches which works best for me. I write fast and don't want to overuse my group when other members don't write at the pace in which I do. Also, I like to put the complete story on paper before too many opinions take me off track. The bottom line is, have people read your stuff.

 

I have a critique group, a critique partner, and of course the amazing writers at YALITCHAT. I love them all. They help me find things I wouldn't otherwise see in my own writing.

 

I am in a writing group full of writers who don't do horror, well I was quite the shock to them. After they recovered and it came to critiquing my work, I realized that I would have to turn to a online critique forum, since only one person understood the genre, the rest were trying to change the story telling me things like why can't the devil kill people by natural causes like drowning in the bathtub or chocking on a chicken bone. My death's were a little more gruesome. I have joined critters and entered my novel. After submitting some critiques, I realize I am one of the gentler ones in the group. So with a glass of wine in hand I wait till my work gets critique, and bravely go forth redoing my second draft. Wish me luck and see you all there. Georgina Bourdeau.

 

Critique groups are SOOO important to me!!! I'm a member of a YA critique group and a PB critique group, plus I do MS swaps with other people I've met online as well. Maybe I'm a sucker for punishment, but I love getting other people's feedback on my MS - that plus giving critiques has taught me so much about writing...

I'm a YA horror writer as well - I hear what you're saying Georgie!!!

 

This is so true! When I first started writing and trying to get published, I couldn't see how important the support and input of other writers could be. After many years of suffering and struggling alone, I've seen the light. I could probably still write without others' support and feedback, but what I produced would be second rate.

I had a great writing group, but when we moved and I started teaching again full-time, meeting became almost impossible. Then we started having unpredictable power cuts and internet problems, and I had to give up my group. Now I rely on half a dozen picky beta readers to run my prose through their various sieves, and I try to return the favor. They always help me see what I need to do, and amazingly, I can usually help them too.

 

Here, here! I totally and utterly agree! There's nothing more to say :)

 

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