Critique groups, are they important?
Yes and no. A critique group will help you when you are ready to take your writing to the next level. For a person who recently picked up the keyboard to begin writing, has yet to hone their voice, and or believes their first draft is comparable to, pick any USA Today best selling authors, finished and polished manuscript, the critique
group is not for you. You need a critique partner of equal or with slightly better skills than yourself.
Yes. your critique partner should rip your work apart and add suggestions to make your work better. This is a give and take experience. You give as good as you get.
A critique group is made up of varying skill levels and they all rip your work to shreds. The good side of this, if more than one person is suggesting you make a change, you should listen up.
Last night, I went to a Better Business Bureau networking meeting with the Women’s Business Networking International group. We met in the Event Connections building where I conduct weddings and the occasional class or two on various topics. It was also the regular meeting night of the Western Ohio Writers Association. While I didn’t make a connection at the event I intentionally went to, I did meet a lot of wonderful writers who make up a large critique group.
Will they replace my critique partner of 16 years? No. They will enhance the work Renee and I do for each other. I will gain more experience, the shredded work I receive will be shared with Renee and she too will learn from the group.
Remember, if it is not constructive criticism … you do not want it.