The Importance of Critique Groups

   When you have completed revising your first drafts a few times, it is then time to
   send your manuscript to a critique group for them to look at it. They are objective
   readers who should be willing to help you along as much as possible to get your
   manuscript in the best possible shape before you send it off.
   There are many different types of critique groups.  Some are online groups while
   at other times critique groups may physically meet at a person’s home or in a
   restaurant. You may have to experiment to see which one works best for you.
   Regardless of where you decide to join an online critique group or an in-person
   group, here are a few tips on finding the best critique group for your needs.
   1.  Make sure that one or two members in the group are published writers.  This
   will help you to get your manuscript in the best possible shape before sending it off
   to publishers.
   2.  Make sure that your group gives you both positive and negative feedback.
   That is so crucial.  Some critique groups that I have been in either give one or the
   other. And that is really damaging to your self-confidence as a writer.
   3.  Make sure that your group has at least four members. That way you could
   submit and critique manuscripts on a regular basis.
   4.  Take your responsibilities as a critiquer seriously.  Make sure that your
   critiques are on time, and make sure that they follow proper form.  I will include the
   form that critiques should take later on in my blog.
   5.  You will find that you will learn as much from critiquing as you will from
   submitting your work and having it critiqued.
   6.  Be kind and courteous at all times with your critiques.  Don’t bash, but point
   out weaknesses in the best possible manner. You don’t want writers to quit writing.
   You just want to show them how to improve their writing. If you do that, you will
   have fulfilled your overall goals.
   So, find yourself a critique group and enjoy getting objective feedback on your
   manuscripts.  You will be really glad that you did. And you not feel as alone as a
   ~ Irene


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