My plan is to expand on an article I wrote on Critique Partners/Groups for the January edition of Georgia Romance Writers, The Galley. If you haven’t read it yet, check it out. Then come back here to read part one of a four part Blog I plan to dedicate to this subject throughout the month of January.
As I am currently un-published, I am by no means an expert on this subject. But I have participated in several different types of critique groups and will list some of my experiences with them. I hope that a bit of my insight might help some of you when trying to decide if a critique group is the right step.
When I first started writing, I thought it would be the easiest and best career in the world. You get to stay home all day, you get to be your own boss, you get to write when you want to write. Boy was I in for a shock.
It’s true that you get to stay home all day, you get to be your own boss, and that you get to write when you want to write; but in order to excel as a writer, you actually have to do all of these things. It’s very tempting to take the day off from writing to go shopping. After all, you’re the boss, so who’s going to tell you not to. A couple of years ago, I had the luxury of being able to stay home and dedicate some time to my writing. My DS had just started school and my DH was working at a job where we could afford for me to take some time for myself before I reentered the working field. Sadly, I found anything and everything to do other than write. At a time when I had hours and hours to dedicate to the craft, I wrote maybe thirty pages. Of course, I wrote them and then I rewrote them and then I rewrote them.
My sister-in-law, Debbie, happened to my critique partner at the time. I know I frustrated her on many occasions with all my changes and then leaving her high and dry with no end to the story.
So I start off this series of blogs on Critique Partners/Groups by saying you have to write something in order to be active in a critique group. No one wants to see the same thing over and over again. Of course, they love that you will incorporate their suggestions into your writing. But if you don’t continue on with the story, your participation in a group is not really participation.
So start off on the right foot. Produce something for your critique group to critique. This is the first step.