Monday, June 28, 2010

Why Do I Need a Critique Group?

This is a question I had asked myself for a very, very long time. How would a critique group help me? Would it be a waste of time? Would I leave irritated with the other members? Would it be satisfying - a good mixture of humiliation and "building up"?

I'm a very skeptical and analytical person and almost always prefer to do things on my own. I use the internet, read books, follow cool people on twitter who send out writing tips, and peruse other people's blogs rather than drive to a specific place (gas is expensive!) to get help. I naturally shy away from things that wouldn't be mutually beneficial, and I never saw a regularly-meeting critique group as accomplishing anything really worthwhile.

Well, now I can happily say I was wrong. :-)

I vaguely remember the first time I attended a critique group meeting. Actually, I haven't had the chance to forget it yet, since it was only two weeks ago. :-) And let me tell you, it was WORTH the time. We read samples of our writing, commented and critiqued, and it was very beneficial. (Course, I'm speaking for myself. :-) David West and Graham Bradley might disagree. :-))

T.J. Bronley, our group's putter-togetherer, sent us this article, wherein Chip MacGregor explains how to get the most out of a critique group. If only I'd read it during the year 2008, when I first started writing seriously...

I could go on and on about getting into a group, but would rather you read the article. :-) For those of you who aren't able to make the drive to specific locations, seriously consider using authonomy instead. It really is a great site.

Here are my questions for anyone who happens upon this post:
How long did your longest critique group last?
Have you found them to be beneficial?
How do you choose groups?
Which of the two types Chip MacGregor mentions is yours? (from the article above - under point 1.)
Why do you recommend a critique group?


  1. Great blog. Especially since you it's partially my fault that you wrote it.

  2. I had a great time and its beneficial to get feedback on ways to make your prose more compelling-so that when it is published it will be that much better.

  3. Sounds like a good crit group. I did some online crit groups for a while, but found them too time consuming and I wasn't getting any great help for my own work. Good luck with yours!

  4. You have to go with your guts...I think it is all about how you see the critics.
    I think you need lots more encouragements! Like 5 encouragments for 1 critic. :)
    Congrat!!!! You resume is amazing! Cheering for you! You are talented and a darling girl!
    I am LDS too :)
    Have a great day!

  5. I just read your comment LOL I guess i was too fast. I wish i could do tours. We are moving on July 1st. We sold the house and renting in Salt lake. The economy really hurt us but it is ok. I have my family and that's what matter. I will keep on posting about design...I am a designer after all...LOL
    Enjoy your day :)

  6. Hi!

    Thanks so much for stopping by to see me today. I hope you feel welcome and that you will stop in again. I'm your newest follower. I look forward to getting to know you. Candace~♥

  7. Love the article. I've made several attempts to start a group in my area but living in the
    middle o'nowhere has its disadvantages. SO grateful for the link to authonomy.

  8. I don't belong to a crit group, but I have several beta readers. We exchange chapters as we are ready. It has been a great experience, and my writing has improved because of it. I think whether you belong to a group or not, it is so, so, so important to have others read your work and to read the work of others. Both are beneficial.

  9. Crit groups are great for several reasons, not the least of which is the motivation knowing that something needs to be written in time for a meeting.