I have been writing a lot lately. I am finally over 25,000 words into the second draft of my novel. Sometimes, I find myself writing like a madwoman with no control, eager to get the scenes onto paper. Other times, I write slowly, contemplating each word as if I were moving through fog . However, I always try to do my best work as I go.
Recently, the Writer’s Digest forum had an interesting discussion on critique groups. The viewpoints on whether or not to join a critique group varied. Some writers, specifically those who have been writing for pay for years, believe that critique groups can do more harm than good. Other writers believe that critique groups are all the rage, because others can catch spelling and grammar errors and teach them how to be better writers.
One seasoned writer/editor suggested that if a writer chooses a critique group, that their work must be written as well as if it were ready to go to an editor or publisher. In other words, the work must have been written, rewritten and edited to a professional level. I agree with this writer/editor one hundred percent.
I participate in a critique group for thriller writers. Sure, we catch each other’s spelling and grammar errors, but the purpose of the group is to give and receive feedback on the story itself, on what works and what does not. I am certain that we all present our very best writing at each group.
We have been together almost a year, and we are still going strong. I would encourage any writer to join a critique group once they have a well-polished draft.
In the meantime, happy writing!