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Critique Groups Develop Writers

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Critique Groups Develop Writers

Critique groups help aspiring writers improve their work while networking with writers of similar passions.  It’s a little jarring to hear others’ criticism but that’s only because we think of criticism as a purely negative diatribe given by high-brow experts.

Try to remember that the members of successful critique groups are generous in their support of fellow writers.  They understand writing talent increases with repetition, diligence, education and successful rewrites.  They celebrate your writing strengths and call attention to manuscript weaknesses with no venom; they understand creating a novel takes inspiration and creativity.

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There are no great writers, just great re-writers.  In one writers’ conference, literary agent Noah Lukeman stated 90 percent of writing is rewriting.  And rewriting is based on heavy editing skills which these groups help writers develop.  A lucky writer will search for a group of astute readers to give a fresh perspective on their writing and learn from writers in all stages of their careers –even professional authors.

One of the greatest benefits of critique group is getting suggestions for fixing manuscript flaws to create stronger novels.  Successful groups take your search for a publisher to publish your manuscript just as seriously as you do.  And everyone may encourage you to meet your writing deadlines and participate in group feedback as a result of that desire.

If you need to find a critique group that offers honest, valuable feedback join your local writer’s guild, ask at the local library or a large area bookstore, Goggle critique group in your state, attend Writer’s conferences or even create you own.  But don’t join until you’ve done your research.  Elena Johnson of Querytracker states the following attributes are always present in productive critique groups:

  • Honest critiques
  • Personal relationships with members
  • Timely feedback on submissions
  • Kind, tactful, valuable critiques
  • And a set length of genre-specific submissions for all members

So take your time to get to know the people and rules of a critique group before joining so you can add value to your work and add more stress to your life.

Critique Groups Develop Writers was last modified: October 24th, 2013 by Angeline Bishop

6 Responses to "Critique Groups Develop Writers"

  1. Angie  Tuesday, May 11, 2010 at 18:21

    Thank you for this contribution, dear Angeline. I’m sure many of us didn’t consider this seriously yet, but it makes a lot of sense.
    Angie

  2. Cervix Anatomixus  Wednesday, May 19, 2010 at 12:01

    hi partner,I truly hope you post again soon. many thanks for sharing your know-how

  3. C. Meltzer  Thursday, June 3, 2010 at 11:28

    Thanks for the informative post. My wife’s calling me for dinner So I require to operate off without reading as much as I’d like. But I put your weblog on my RSS feed so that I can read a lot more.

  4. Jack Eason
    Jack Eason  Thursday, August 4, 2011 at 9:08

    Angeline, my publisher runs an in-house site where all of us publishing under its banner can leave whatever we’re working on for constructive criticism and comments.

    I don’t necessarily agree with the statement – “There are no great writers, just great re-writers.” however. Many fine works are out their in book land that, apart from minor editing, are essentially original i.e. corrected first drafts.

    If by the statement you are referring the whole editing process, then yes, in that case I do agree.

    Great article. :D

  5. Nancy Duci Denofio  Thursday, August 4, 2011 at 22:58

    I have been involved with the editing process and believe if someone is honest and upfront – working one on one – the writer tends to see his or her mistakes. This has occured both on and off line.

    As for Critique processing and different genre – it has a great deal to do with how one goes about it. For instance, poetry is personal, memoirs need a great interviewer to get all the nooks and crannies out of someones mind, but a novel can be one of the best places for groups gathering to critique.

    I must agree, some writers are good writers who only need editing – while others want to tell a story or stories, and learn the process. It’s never a bad idea to become better – in what ever it is you pondor for each audience.

    I have taught authors how to change long work into smaller works and they flow so easy – and they understand a few words off here or there means a world of difference.

    Great article.
    Always, Nancy

  6. Paula Boer
    Paula Boer  Friday, October 25, 2013 at 23:27

    I would not have become published without the wonderful support group of fellow writers that I had in Tasmania. Now that I live thousands of kilometres from them, I miss their valuable feedback. I have tried (many times) to join or establish a local writers group, to no success. People don’t seem to like the commitment and hard work that goes with such a group – they only want to hear “what a great story!” which is no help to anyone.

    So, I keep in touch with my few fellow like-minded writers online. A few years back, I met a fellow in Western Australia via an online forum. We seemed to benefit from each other’s experiences. My husband and I met with him and his wife when we travelled around Australia last year. Now he is coming here to stay with us (for those of you who don’t know Australia, this is an all day flight, not a simple pop down the road). I am very excited about his visit and as one friend said ‘having someone to talk writing to whose eyes won’t glaze over’.

    Online critique is great, but nothing beats face to face, not only for improving one’s writing, but creating true friendships.

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