Give and take

 

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?

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2 Responses to Give and take

  1. Flood says:

    I am still trying to work up the courage to go to a writer’s group. I am saddened to learn that stuffed animals don’t count.

  2. JLB says:

    Dig up that courage, Flood! I’m sure that each critique group is unique, and the folks involved can make or break ’em, but they’re not as scary as they seem… it really feels good to get some feedback on your work that you can take home and use as fuel to improve! 😉 And stuffed animals are great because you can read to them any time of day or night, but they can’t offer constructive criticism.

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