I’ve had good and bad experiences with crit groups. I don’t have a crit partner, though I have a couple of brainstorming buddies when I get stuck. I’ve sent out small bits of work for them to look at, but it’s rare. This might be from experience, or simply because I’ve been burned in the past.” Allison Brennan
“Many published writers say that critique groups contributed to their success. Critique groups can help you improve your writing, detect weaknesses in plot, structure, or prose, and whip pieces into shape so they catch an editor’s interest.” Maryland Writers’ Association
Critique – to examine critically: Review
Critic – 2: one given to harsh or captious judgment
Five years ago when I became serious about the craft, some of the first advice I received was to get a critique partner or, better yet, join a critique group. The word, critique, sounded like a dressed-up version of critic as in criticized, which equaled ridiculed as in ridiculous in my mind, and the very last thing I wanted was to go Medieval on someone for telling me my new born baby manuscript sucked. Long story short, it was ix-nay on the critique roup-gay.
Six months or so later, I found the RWA and a local chapter and then Marley found me. As with every friendship, it took time to build trust and turn loose of those manuscript pages. We’ve been crit partners for about four years now. She knows me, my voice, my style as I know hers. We’ve become very comfortable in our critting relationship which is why we’ve begun to contemplate adding some new flavor to the soup and forming a group.
When I Googled Writers’ Critique Groups I found page after page of anonymous crit groups, how to’s, and other oddball combinations. For me, anonymous crit groups would be like playing Russian roulette with my WIP. I mean, you can’t copyright an idea, right? And yet, you want to find that perfect fit so you have to take some chances. I think there should be an E-Harmony that specializes in finding the right critique partner/group. With their patented 29 levels of compatibility a match would be guaranteed! That’s an idea, but maybe you have some of your own, dear readers. If you would care to share your experiences, ideas, suggestions, or what works for you, we would love to hear it! Happy Monday!