Last night’s critique group meeting was fun, as always. We’re lucky – we have a small, friendly group, and I think it’s to our benefit that we each write from different genres and using different methods.
I’ve heard all sorts of pros and cons about critique groups, but I think that what ultimately makes a critique group effective for any writer is the chance, excuse, or reason to put a piece of writing in front of a live audience, for better or for worse (and no – the dogs, cats, plants, walls, stove, and stuffed animals don’t count as a live audience).
The process of sharing not only invites feedback from others, but it gives us the chance to review our own work with fresh eyes. When we are sharing our work with other writers, glaring omissions, mistakes, or opportunities can suddenly shine out like fog lights. For myself, helping critique another person’s work gives me a more objective eye with my own writing.
Do you work with a critique group, or have you at some time in the past? What about critique groups works for you, and what doesn’t? What are some of the qualities you feel describe a “good” critique group?