Friday, April 11, 2008

Critique Group Magic

Writing is a solitary activity. Or is it? I have heard the comment that actors are the only artists who must have others around them to work on their craft. Writers, musicians, and painters can work in the privacy of their own home, studio, personal space at their favorite coffee shop, etc.

I may create the first draft of a new manuscript alone, but fortunately, Help is on the Way. Writers may be solitary individuals by personality or by necessity, but there’s nothing most of us like better than talking to other writers. So we form critique groups. I am fortunate to participate in a critique group with three other writers. This has been an amazing experience. Besides the obvious fun of talking with other writers while drinking coffee, I get professional, helpful comments given in a kind manner.

This week I wrote some additional pages on a manuscript I am revising and asked for a quick read. The members of my critique group all replied the very same day with comments.

Some writers say that the key to writing is rewriting. A good critique group can only improve the rewriting. Hopefully, joining a critique group is one step in the right direction on the road to publication.

C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien were members of a group called the Inklings where they read works in progress to the group for critique.

Are there any other writers out there who want to brag on their critique group? Are there any other areas of life where you wish you had a critique group?


Farrah Rochon said...

I am so thankful for my critique group. I've been with them for over five years (wow, can't believe it's been that long already), and they have helped my writing tremendously. They have also become some of my very best friends. There's just something about those who get it when it comes to the ups and downs of the writing life.

I'm so happy you were able to find a supportive group to be there on your journey to publication!

Kristin Tubb said...

Other areas in which I could use a critique group? Great question! I'd say I'd like to have a parenthood crit group, but honestly, I don't know if I could handle the feedback! :-) And I *definitely* don't want a crit group for my housekeeping! Ha!

Yay, crit groups! :-)

Shauna Roberts said...

My writing would definitely not be where it is today without my critique group. I've learned so much from them. Each one has a different talent and notices things the others do not. I almost always make all the changes they suggest, they are that good. The only problem is we need a name and don't have one.

Have you found a new critique group in TN, or are you still with your NOLA critique group?

I could use a critique group for my life. As organized as I am, I'm always behind on chores and don't have enough time to read.

Rae Ann Parker said...

FARRAH and SHAUNA: It is wonderful to have other writers joining you on the ups and downs. I am working with a great critique group in TN now.
KRISTIN: I agree on the no critique group needed for housework, unless someone wants to participate in the cleaning!

Barrie said...

I have a very amazing critique group. Everyone notices different problems. Very helpful. :)