Critique Groups

Do you belong to a critique group? If you answered yes, you’re on the right track. If you answered, no, hopefully this will help you out.

Critique groups can be fickle things. Depending on who attends, who runs it, and the style of the group, it can be good or awful. Most critique groups, however, are helpful at least in the sense that you have something you’ve written examined by other writers. You want this.

I run one critique group in the greater Los Angeles area (specifically in the San Gabriel Valley) and we read up to 10/15 pages from a current WIP and then discuss the work for a few minutes. It takes about 30-45 minutes each person. I don’t know if what we do is great or perfect, but it works. Reading out loud (as I’ve mentioned before) is a great way to catch errors, and there is some entertainment in the process as well.

If you are looking to join a critique group, you can check out meetup.com to see if there is one in your area. If not, don’t despair! You can start one easily: talk to your local bookstore, they may have a group going, but if not, you can see if they will let you start one. Don’t be discouraged if only a few people come to the meetings to start. It takes time to build a good group. Ask local friends who are writers to join.

Happy writing all!

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