If you're a writer who has been working alone, at your computer, on your manuscript, you may reach a point where you begin to wonder if you should have others look at your book.
You may be at the phase where you need a critique group.
Or you may not be.
Before you begin searching for a group, you need to ask yourself if you're ready to hand over your words to others and have them, not just read it, but discuss it, mark up your pages, and tell you what they think you're doing wrong. (And, hopefully, what you're doing right.)
Will you be able to handle that? Can you sit and listen without trying to argue or defend? Can you do that week after week?
Are you ready to read the work of others in your group and give them constructive criticism? A critique group is a two-way process. You take advice; you give advice. Do you have the time to critique the work of others in the group. You can't just get advice on your book, then walk away.
Do you have the time to meet with the group every week or once a month or however often they meet. You're making a commitment when you join a critique group.
Are you ready to share more than just your comments on their writing? In most cases, a critique group ends up being more than just discussion on someone's work. Members share tips and advice on writing. They share information they've found out about agents or conferences. You're joining a tight knit group that helps each other in more areas than just the pages submitted each week.
But most of all, are you ready to take the criticism? These are not your family members or best friends. Their job is to keep it real and give you their best advice. It's not always easy to take.
6 months ago