Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Finding a Critique Group



It is the first month of the New Year and for writers that usually means new projects, new goals, new and better ideas floating around in your head. It also means evaluating what worked last year and what needs to be changed. A renewal of your commitment to becoming more successful as a writer may include finding a critique group for that second eye at your work.

If you don't currently have a critique group you may be wondering if you need one and if you do decide it might be a benefit, how do you find the right one? Here are some tips for helping you figure out if a critique group is right for you and finding the perfect members to make it work.

A critique group should be a benefit to you and in turn you must be a benefit to the others.

  1. keep it simple
  2. keep the group small
  3. develop a trust within the group so that criticisms are not taken personally 
  4. don't let it distract you from your real goal of writing
That being said, how do you find your group or as some writers call it, your tribe?
Start with deciding what kind of group you want, online or in person. If you want to be part of an online group you can find your members from writing sites, online classes you have taken, through your current social media writing friends you already know or by asking and being recommended by other writers you are familiar with. Joining writer associations or other membership sites related to your genre can open up many opportunities to find a critique group in your area of interest online.

If an in person group would benefit you more, check with your local library for any local writers that might also be interested. Local papers might also offer articles on other local authors or even list support/critique groups for writers in your community asking for members. 

Keep in mind that a critique group should offer you critical points that advance your story but should not demean you in a personal way. That's where the trust factor comes in. You must always trust that members are not tearing you down to make their writing feel better but are giving points to improve and lead you to more success. You in return must be the same type of critique partner.

What other tips do you have for those seeking a critique group, and any thoughts on how and why a critique group has helped you  can be shared in the comments. Here is to a successful 2017.

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