Never underestimate the importance of a good critique group. Without one, a writer may simply flounder in a sea of words and ideas. A critique group can make the difference between a mediocre story and an excellent piece of writing worthy of publication. Without the support of groups I’ve belonged to over the years, I would not have six books and several short stories published.
If you are wondering if you should join a critique group, here are ten things about critique groups you should know.
- Not all critique groups are created equal. You may have to try out a few to find one that works for you. The members need not write in the same genre as you, in fact it helps if there is a variety of writing being critiqued.
- Park your ego at the door. Although it is nice to hear what the members like about your writing, it´s the things they don´t like or find confusing that are the most beneficial to you.
- Remember the comments are suggestions, to use if you wish. But if you hear the same criticism more than once, it would serve you well to take notice.
- Never defend your work. The members may stop offering valuable suggestions if you do. If you have to explain something to them, it means it will be confusing to the readers too.
- Reading your work out loud to a group helps you discover flaws in your writing. An extra set of eyes will catch things like missed or incorrect punctuation, misspelled or missing words, incorrect capitalization, repeated words, inconsistencies and so much more.
- Critiquing the work of other writers helps you become a better writer as does listening to other critiques.
- Writing can be a lonely job. It is beneficial to get out and mingle with other writers, if only to commiserate. Other writers possess a wealth of ideas and can help you through that writer’s block when it inevitably hits.
- Belonging to more than one group can give you different perspectives.
- Your critique partners will become your cheering section, will come to your book launches and help promote your work once published. They have a vested interest in seeing you successful.
- Critique groups offer encouragement and motivation, something all writers need.
Most completed stories are not the result of a solitary writer. We all need critique partners. So what are you waiting for? Go out and find a critique group, or create your own.
Do you have any information about critique groups you have found useful?
Find and follow Darlene
About the author
Brought up on a ranch in southern Alberta, Darlene Foster dreamt of writing, travelling the world and meeting interesting people. She also believes everyone is capable of making their dreams come true. It’s no surprise that she’s now an award-winning author of children’s adventure books who divides her time between the west coast of Canada and Orihuela Costa, in Spain.
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Amanda Jane Ross is certainly becoming a world traveller; she’s now in sunny Spain on vacation with her friend Leah. While there, she encounters a mysterious young girl who looks eerily like the girl in a famous painting she saw in a Madrid museum. Even weirder, the girl keeps showing up wherever Amanda finds herself – Madrid, the remote mountains of rural Spain, the beaches on the Mediterranean Sea, a lively fiesta and the busy streets of Barcelona. Amanda wants to help this sweet, young girl and her beloved pony escape the clutches of a mean horse-dealer. Come with Amanda on her next adventure as she attempts to unravel the mystery behind the Girl in the Painting while she treks across Spain – always one step ahead of danger!
Amanda is delighted to show Leah around Alberta during her visit from England. They take in the Calgary Stampede, go on a cattle drive, visit Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, spend time with the dinosaurs at the Royal Tyrrell Museum and explore the crazy Hoodoos. When Amanda finds a stone with a unique mark on it, she doesn’t think it’s important until everyone seems to want it – including a very ornery cowboy. Is this stone worth ruining Leah’s holiday and placing them both in danger? Spend time with Amanda as she explores her own country while attempting to decipher the mysterious writing on the stone and keep it from those determined to take it from her.
Twelve year old Amanda Ross finds herself on an elegant riverboat with her bestie, Leah, cruising down the beautiful Danube, passing medieval castles, luscious green valleys and charming villages. When she is entrusted with a valuable violin by a young, homeless musician during a stop in Germany, a mean boy immediately attempts to take it from her. Back on their cruise, Amanda struggles to keep the precious violin safe for the poor prodigy. Along the way, she encounters a mysterious monk, a Santa Claus look-alike, and the same nasty boy. Follow Amanda down the Danube, through Germany, Austria and Hungary, as she enjoys the enchanting sounds of music everywhere she goes. She remains on the lookout though, wondering just who she can trust.
Amanda Ross is an average twelve year old Canadian girl. So what is she doing thousands of kilometres from home in the United Arab Emirates? It’s her own fault really, she wished for adventure and travel when she blew out those candles on her last birthday cake. Little did she know that a whole different world awaited her on the other side of the globe, one full of intrigue, mystery and folklore. A world with a beautiful princess, a dangerous desert and wonderful friends. Join Amanda on her first adventure as she discovers the secrets behind The Perfume Flask.
Amanda Ross is visiting England and taking in all the sights. She gets lost in the maze at Hampton Court, does some shopping at Harrods, meets the ravens in the Tower of London, explores Windsor Castle, and rides the London Eye. When she discovers a vintage book is missing from a collection, she is determined to find out who stole it. Amanda befriends a pair of tough teenagers from the streets of London, an elderly bookshop owner, and a big, friendly, clever, Maine Coon cat named Rupert. Follow Amanda through cobblestone streets, medieval castles, and underground tunnels in her quest to find the missing novel!