I receive questions on a daily basis from aspiring writers about stories they have written. I try when I can to offer as much advice as I can to the best of my ability.
So today I can going to do just that and talk about a subject that I feel aspiring writers need to know.
The benefits of being in a critique group.
Those two words together can sound to a writer terrifying. The thought of letting someone else read your work is scary enough yet in a critique group there are at least 3 other people that get their hands on your work.
That sounds like a crazy idea, right? Why should you let a group of people read your work and tell you what they believe you have done wrong in your novel you have worked so hard to complete or get started on?
Well, there are two main reasons why I believe every writer should become involved in a critique group.
- You will learn a great deal about yourself and about your writing.
When I joined Writers of Kern (WOK) a branch of the California Writers Club, I was excited. Immediately however I was encouraged to join a critique group. The thought frightened me. I had never been fond of someone else criticizing my work. It always left me with a slow burn underneath and a nasty taste in my mouth from the criticism from strangers.
Eventually I did join a group and my anxiety was at 10 out of 10 at my first few meetings. However not only did they point out what I was doing wrong but they also explained to me why. That was key for me. They didn’t just tell me what I was doing wrong but they told me how to make a more polished body of work. I learned so many things and was able to use the advice in many other novels.
- Nothing compares to being around those who know what you are going through.
As a writer you know how difficult it is to not have the support you need to write. When you are a member of a critique group you have at least twice a month a group of people you can talk shop with and discuss any issues you may have.
My husband every year attends a conference where he and other bio-medical engineers can get together and learn about new things going on in their industry. It is a chance to talk shop. Writers also need that as well.
I endorse critique groups and I believe that a writer would be the better for it. Yet, don’t take my word for it. Find yourself a critique group today.