So how do you find a good critique group?
Visit the blogs of other writers, then look through their lists of links. Usually you will find one or two links to online critique groups. Go to the site and browse through some of the critiques to read both the work and the critique of the work. Even online critique groups that charge a membership fee will often provide one month of free service so you can see if the group will be a good fit for you and your writing.
Another great place to get in touch with other writers is by joining a local or state-wide writers’ organization. See if the organization hosts critique groups and attend a few meetings to listen to them critique each others’ works. The feedback should be tough, but it should also be positive.
I look for groups that don’t simply critique grammar, but also banter ideas back and forth to brainstorm problem sections of a writer’s story or novel. I want to leave my critique group excited and fully charged, ready to go home and write, write, write, not feeling like I’ve been bludgeoned with a baseball bat.
Critique groups can be great fun, a source of inspiration and fellowship for the otherwise lonely act of writing. The groups I’ve belonged to have prevented me from trying to sell my manuscript too soon, not to mention picking up on characterization and plot issues I might have missed.
So shop around until you find a critique group that fits you!
Copyright 2009 Teresa Frohock