Writers Critique Groups, Good or Bad?
Last year I finished my first screenplay and a few months ago I finished my first novel. I have taken every writing class our local college had to offer and some online. My writing career started with Toastmaster where I learned how to overcome my fear of speaking and learned how to write a speech. Dozens of speeches later, I became interested in fiction and screenwriting. I am also employed by Broward County Schools where I teach a public speaking class and the basics of fiction.
Writers Helping Writers, my critique group, started almost two years ago. This month is our second anniversary. The group was started because I knew that there are dozens of writers out there that need help and feedback.
The positive side of a critique group is the ability to have many sets of eyes and minds reading your work. You will find things in your writing that you did not see and someone else did. You will be given advice on how to improve your work. Most of the members pick up on different items that need improvement. This is the way you will grow as a writer. I know I have and have also learned many great ways of making my story more interesting and entertaining.
The bad part, which is small, is the fact that you may hear the same critique repeated and there are always members who do not know what to say or how to critique. If they come often enough they will learn. At times you will hear hints that you don’t agree with or may offend you.
Here are a few tips when joining a critique group.
1-Be honest, helpful, but not offensive.
2-Never take a critique personally.
3-Take what you want and leave the rest.
4-This is not the time to show off your skills.
Remember, everyone there is there to grow and learn. It is your job to help them.
Write with Passion. Jay