Value of a Good Critique Group
I may have blogged about this in the past, but as I’m poring over comments I’ve gathered from my critique over the years, I’m reminded how crucial a good critique group is to making a novel a success.
What is a good critique group?
Let me first describe what I consider a poor critique group: a gathering of people who want to write but are more interested in building themselves up than helping the others. Even one selfish member can poison the entire group.
In contrast, a good critique group is both honest and encouraging. They do you no favors by just patting you on the back and saying, “Well done!” At the same time, beating you down with every review can just sap all will to write. It’s an honest blend of what worked and what did not.
I’ve been fortunate over the years to have been a part of the Silver Griffin Circle over on Forward Motion Writers. We post our novels a chapter at a time to be read and critiqued. I usually did not revise as soon as I got the feedback, since I was only about four or five chapters ahead of them. I took their comments to heart and my writing improved as I went, something very evident as I started revising the manuscript last summer. They’ve helped me shape my whirlwind of characters, places, and ideas into something cohesive.
Here’s to all the Silver Griffins, both past and present. Thank you.