Writing Critique Groups
by Kimberly Keagan
July 7, 2023
I belong to a historical romance writing critique group. There are four of us who’ve been together (online) for two years. We all belong to the Faith, Hope, Love Christian Writers group, so we are a small community of like-minded individuals who come together to provide feedback, encouragement, and constructive criticism on each other's work. Joining this group has been a transformative experience for me as a writer.
Perhaps the most obvious benefit of joining a writing critique group is the invaluable feedback you receive on your work. Your group members can provide fresh perspectives, catch errors you might have missed, and suggest improvements that can elevate your writing to new heights.
Knowing that you have a group of peers waiting to read your latest work can be a powerful motivator. It encourages you to set goals and stick to them, reducing the likelihood of procrastination.
In a critique group, you’ll encounter a variety of writing styles, backgrounds, experience and skillsets. and voices. This diversity can broaden your horizons, expose you to different ways of storytelling, and inspire you to experiment with your writing.
Writing can be a rollercoaster of self-doubt and frustration. Having a group of fellow writers who understand your struggles and can offer support and encouragement can make all the difference in maintaining your enthusiasm and momentum.
To get something out of a critique group, you must be willing to receive constructive criticism. It's essential to check your ego at the door and remember that the goal is to improve your writing, not defend your ego.
Being an active member of a critique group requires time. You need to read and provide feedback on others' work regularly. Balancing this with your own writing goals and commitments can be challenging.
For a successful group, clear guidelines must be established so that each person knows the type of feedback the group should be giving and the deadlines for doing so. When offering feedback, focus on specific aspects of the work that can be improved. Use the "compliment-critique-compliment" approach, where you begin with something positive, provide constructive criticism, and end on an encouraging note.
Joining a writing critique group can be a wonderful experience that elevates your writing skills and helps you grow as a writer. For me, the fellowship that our group shares is one of the best aspects of being a writer.