Critiquing Critique Groups

I’ve been a part of a 4-person critique group for several years. We meet once a month and react to one of our manuscripts. The feedback is always positive but also honest with pointed advice as to what would improve a character or scene.

Different versions of my stories got better each time I shared. It’s invaluable to have others read your work. In isolation you often don’t see problems with a scene.

So now as we reach our third summer together my group is disbanding. One person is moving, another who began as a YA writer but now prefers Adult is joining a group of like writers, and the third has decided to take a break from the long road to a successfully published book.

I’m alone again, but not for long.

When I first searched for a critique group almost five years ago there were friends and family who read my first story (okay, maybe it was the second as my first was just for practice). I quickly realized they were not much help. All they could say was something along the lines of “I loved this!” What I needed was how to make it shine, how to raise it up to the next level. I stopped giving them my stories because their feedback was too nice.

Next I did email critiques with two strangers on the east coast. We’d trade a chapter at a time and provided advice. Things went much better with these two people and both are published authors now.

My recent writings have been critiqued to the max, but when I revise it’s always nice to have a friendly voice out there to give critical reaction. I also have more stories in the future that will need outside readers.

I made several connections at the recent BIG SUR conference, and will look to a few of the organizations that already have opportunities for organized groups (SCBWI and CHILDRENS BOOK INSIDER).

For now…9i4A55xiE

Thank you to my disbanded 4-Writer’s Group.

Thanks for laughing in the right places.

Thanks for making me put more emotion into my writing.

Thanks for telling me outright when something wasn’t working.

 

It’s been a great experience.

About Greg Pattridge

Climbing another mountain...writing middle grade novels.
This entry was posted in Critiques, Writing and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Critiquing Critique Groups

  1. Critique groups are a real gift when they run well. Sorry to hear yours has disintegrated, but look at it as an opportunity to find fresh eyes. I hope you find a new one that works for you.

  2. did you ever see Authors Anonymous? It’s an indie movie and SO funny..all about Critique groups and writing. I love my CPs. Hoping your group gets up and running again!

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