My journey through the world of writing and everything that lies in between…

Critique Group Today

Today’s the meeting for our critique group. Last week it was cancelled due to bad weather…and I’ve had to wait another agonizing week for my chapter critique 😛

Ok, agonizing is a bit of an overexaggeration. But I have been anxious about it; I always have when it’s my turn. I know it’s silly, but it’s difficult watching my story picked apart, even though I know it’s for the best and even though I know it’s not a personal critique of me.

I have been getting better about it over time. It was difficult for me to even have it read by people other than myself (I was one of those writers that hated having others read my work because I thought it wasn’t good enough), but I’ve since gotten better. I still lean towards keeping things to myself, but I remind myself that I won’t grow as a writer if I don’t let others read my work. I certainly don’t know everything about writing (honestly who does? Even the published writers don’t) and even if I go over something a million times, I inevitably miss something crucial. So it’s good to get other opinions and suggestions.

Of course I don’t always take everything my group gives me. Sometimes they make suggestions I ignore (especially if it alters the personality of a character), but it’s better that I have other opinions to at least balance everything out.

Anyway, how many of you are part of critique group, online or in person? What have you learned? Has it been a good experience for you?

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Comments on: "Critique Group Today" (3)

  1. Where I live, the local library has a writer-in-residence program every year. So I saw that as my chance to get some legitimate feedback. Before I walked into the room for my first appointment I saw red all over the first page. I took a deep breath and said to myself “I can take it” and take it I did but I also learned a great deal. At the end, he told me that he was impressed by how well I responded to his critiques and I became more confident.

  2. I’ve been tentative about joining a critique group, simply because I’ve heard people (possibly Stephen King) talk about how they normally function as read-and-say-something-nice-if-anything-at-all groups, which are sort of useless. There’s an unofficial one at my work (lame alert: campus newspaper) where we go through things every week and someone comments on how the articles turned out, etc, but by that point we normally can’t actually change anything we’ve done.

  3. I’ve thought of joining a critique group, but haven’t. I think it would be especially beneficial just for the reasons you stated in your post: learning to accept or reject appropriate criticism! I’m thinking about it still! (But…where to find the time. Phooey!) Love your blog, Dara!

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