Critique Group

Writers and critique groups can’t be separated. Many writers need to have feedback to polish their stories, and critique groups are a good place to find that.

But what do you look for in a group? Where do you find one? How do you know it’s the right group for you?

Look for a group that is as serious as you are about writing, not more or less. If it’s a bad fit, you’ll either outstrip them with your progress or they’ll leave you behind. The meeting times need to work for you. Frequency needs to be long enough for you to get something else ready and not too frequent that you spent more time reviewing other’s work than minding your own.

One way to find a group is to ask other writers. They know which groups are good and can let you know a bit about it. Libraries and bookstores often host them. There are also a lot of writers online willing to meet virtually.

Knowing if it’s the right group for you is an individual decision. Can you get to the meetings and hold up your end of the critique? Are you getting the feedback you need for the piece? Can you work around all the personalities in the group?

That’s always a good question – the other people in the group. If you’re part of an existing group, they made it work. Some of them might grate on you, but the important part is working together. Sometimes it might seem impossible, but if you’re still learning from the group and getting what you need, it’s worth working against a difficult personality.

I hate missing my critique group. Luckily, I should be able to see them a bit next Saturday. I only hope I can get my stuff together by then.

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4 Comments

  1. Jamie said,

    21 June 2010 at 08:53

    I have a great group of beta readers. It isn’t formal or even orderly, but when we want some more feedback we can send each other our works. Since we are all subbing to many of the same markets we are brutally honest with each other.

  2. ransomnoble said,

    21 June 2010 at 09:41

    That’s a good way to get feedback.

  3. Dawn Embers said,

    21 June 2010 at 19:48

    I miss the critique group, well, most of it anyways. I miss having one for sure. Right now I’m leaning towards finding beta readers but not one hundred percent certain. It’s not easy explaining to the non-writers why I’m trying to do all that instead of just sending it out. Yeah, seems obvious but some people don’t get that fact.

  4. ransomnoble said,

    21 June 2010 at 20:09

    I’d love to hear what you decide, Dawn. Good luck either way.


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