One Writer’s Journey

September 12, 2014

Critique: Why You Need a Critique Group

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 1:17 am
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CritiqueAt the Missouri SCBWI conference this past Saturday, many people paid for critiques.  There’s no doubt about it — critiques from agents and editors are helpful.  It is the one way you can find out how they respond to your writing and what you might need to change.  I hope some of you were able to take advantage of this feedback.

As writers, we spend much of our time working in isolation.  Focusing on a piece of writing, its easy to loose perspective.  What works?  What doesn’t?  After a while, it is really hard to tell.  But we don’t an agent or editor to be the first person to give us feedback.  That’s where a strong critique group comes in handy.  Paid critiques are great but a critique group gives you regular access to feedback from multiple people and these people are writers.  We are always learning new things about our craft. You need to benefit from this experience.

How do you find a critique group?

  • Check your local book store or library.  Critique groups often meet in these locations.
  • Ask other writers that you know.  I host a critique group that is open to new members.
  • Check with your groups.  Do you belong to SCBWI or your local writer’s guild?  See if they have a list of critique groups.
  • Ask on Facebook or Twitter.  Make use of your social media connections.  Put out feelers.
  • Look online.  Do you belong to an online community for writers?  See if there is an online group.

As you find out about various critique groups take a look at what each of them offers.  Some will only critique one type of writing; a picture book group will be of no help i you write novels.  Check their goals.  A group of people who write for fun will look at your work very differently than a group of people who want to sell their work.

Going to a group and critiquing the work of others is unnerving if you’ve never done it before.  Check out my post tomorrow on the Muffin for some tips on how to critique the work of another writer.

–SueBE

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