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What is your experience with Critique Groups? (1 Viewer)

Llyralen

Senior Member
What is your experience with critique groups? Was a critique group as good as asking for beta readers? Or getting help online in other ways? Or are there certain benefits to both?
Where did you find your group?
How can I get recruited to a good literature/historical fiction/fantasy/sci-Fi one? Preferably one that does some brainstorming but also has the goal of publication?
 

bdcharles

Wɾ¡ʇ¡∩9
Staff member
Media Manager
I've only just used forums like this one for critique of short pieces - a chapter or so. My beta readers seem to have come mostly via social media, though obviously the relationship there is little longer-term, as it's for the whole book. I've never used or been part of a formal critique group. It seems (to me) like something that requires quite a time investment. That being said, feel free to create one here. I like those genres - I'll join it:)
 

Foxee

Patron
Patron
I found a local in-person writers' group by searching on Meetup.com. It's interesting to critique and listen to critiques in person, a very different gear than a forum. Worth trying to see if you like it if you can find one.
 

Non Serviam

WF Veterans
For short-format work, you want this site right here. For longer-format work such as novels or novellas, if you're a speculative fiction writer, you want Critters. Check them out at http://www.critters.org. When I was an unpublished writer I used both, and I still recommend both.

Whether you're on Wf.com or Critters, giving critique helps your writing more than receiving critique does.

That last point is so important that I'm going to say it again. Giving critique helps your writing more than receiving critique does.

Giving critique makes you think about writing. By doing that, and by finding and identifying the strong and weak points about other people's writing, you teach yourself more than you already know about how to write a good sentence, a good paragraph, a distinctive character, how to structure a story ---- it's an endless wellspring of learning and the best bit is that you teach yourself.
 

Llyralen

Senior Member
For short-format work, you want this site right here. For longer-format work such as novels or novellas, if you're a speculative fiction writer, you want Critters. Check them out at http://www.critters.org. When I was an unpublished writer I used both, and I still recommend both.

Whether you're on Wf.com or Critters, giving critique helps your writing more than receiving critique does.

That last point is so important that I'm going to say it again. Giving critique helps your writing more than receiving critique does.

Giving critique makes you think about writing. By doing that, and by finding and identifying the strong and weak points about other people's writing, you teach yourself more than you already know about how to write a good sentence, a good paragraph, a distinctive character, how to structure a story ---- it's an endless wellspring of learning and the best bit is that you teach yourself.
I believe you!
I had a little 5 person group for a couple of years and my husband and I learned so much of what not to do… but the others didn’t seem to be learning. I really felt like I failed the group. At the end I was the only one giving critique and I was not getting listened to. One of the members who I could have torn my hair out due to him not listening to me about the way the females were written in his book said “I know you sometimes just like to stir the pot.” And and the rest were saying “That was nice, can I read now?” I learned so much of what not to do. So did my husband, luckily and his writing improved dramatically.

I know leading an effective group takes skill just like leading a choir. I would love to be in a very productive group with the intent to publish. I got some tips on how to make an effective group, but I’d rather join one. I will try critters!

This was very useful advice and yes… I do agree! I think it’s what I need at this point. Speculative fiction is perfect. Hugs and thank yous!
 

Llyralen

Senior Member
I found a local in-person writers' group by searching on Meetup.com. It's interesting to critique and listen to critiques in person, a very different gear than a forum. Worth trying to see if you like it if you can find one.
I will do this and see because I am craving some in-person interaction too.
 

Llyralen

Senior Member
I've only just used forums like this one for critique of short pieces - a chapter or so. My beta readers seem to have come mostly via social media, though obviously the relationship there is little longer-term, as it's for the whole book. I've never used or been part of a formal critique group. It seems (to me) like something that requires quite a time investment. That being said, feel free to create one here. I like those genres - I'll join it:)
You volunteering like this made me feel so hopeful!!! Thank you! Maybe we can start a good group. Someone who has led one effectively for 30 years (but not online and not in my area) gave me some guidelines on how they run theirs. She also thought she has always learned so much from it. Let’s see what else happens… let me think on this a bit…but your message got me excited!
 

Foxee

Patron
Patron
Literary Maneuvers! Once a month, one prompt, 650 words....intrepid writers make it happen and other intrepid writers critique. Come on and do it, you know you want to!
 

Llyralen

Senior Member
Alrighty! A very nice theme! I will probably write one this month and next to submit and then volunteer. I thought you had to get asked to help judge stuff. :)
Literary Maneuvers! Once a month, one prompt, 650 words....intrepid writers make it happen and other intrepid writers critique. Come on and do it, you know you want to!
 

Foxee

Patron
Patron
Alrighty! A very nice theme! I will probably write one this month and next to submit and then volunteer. I thought you had to get asked to help judge stuff. :)
Nope! Generally there's some begging on the part of the host (kidding, hosts...but not entirely) and if people volunteer it warms the host's heart.
 

vranger

Staff member
Supervisor
giving critique helps your writing more than receiving critique does.
I think at a certain stage, if a writer is lucky enough to find the right mentor(s), getting critique is important ... for writers who have the shoulders to take it on. :) However, I completely agree that giving critique helps to recognize the same elements in our own writing, and see them at arm's length.

As time goes by, a synergy develops where we get better at both as we get more experience turning weak sentences into stronger sentences.
 

Llyralen

Senior Member
I love the way members on WF support each other and I would love to see our Beta reader group develop.
:) I can tell I better start thinking about how to take this on. What do you think? Would we do a Zoom meeting? Or are you thinking of how to do it through this website? I have Zoom capability.
 

PiP

Staff member
Co-Owner
:) I can tell I better start thinking about how to take this on. What do you think? Would we do a Zoom meeting? Or are you thinking of how to do it through this website? I have Zoom capability.
Please give me a couple of days as I am still on my travels. Arrive home late tomorrow night after 5 weeks travelling France, UK, Spain and Portugal. Llyralen, so my brain is frazzled right now. LOL Through the forum is better but how individual members liaise with their Beta readers is down to personal preference. Let's discuss.

Please send me a message re suggestions how we can improve the Beta reader area :) and we will go from there.
 

Foxee

Patron
Patron
:) I can tell I better start thinking about how to take this on. What do you think? Would we do a Zoom meeting? Or are you thinking of how to do it through this website? I have Zoom capability.
Someone else on here asked about a Discord channel. That might be a possibility as well?
 
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