Status: Drafting the fourth book in the PERILOUS series!

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Value of an In-Person Critique group

I'm a member of three online critique groups. While they work great for me, I always envied people who have live critique groups. I couldn't even imagine how it world work in person. But I never knew how to go about finding people willing to commit to critique meetings, people interested in writing and reviewing and being reviewed.

And then it happened. While we were at the writer's conference in Eureka Springs, we met two lovely ladies who live in the next city over from us. We kept in contact after the conference, and the next thing I know, we have an in-person critique group.

It's only been a month since the conference, so we've just met twice. But let me tell you, it's awesome. There are some great advantages to meeting in person vs. through email.

1) Social time! I get to leave my house and have fun.

2) Speed. In half an hour, we go over the same amount of stuff that takes a week for my online critique group to do.

3) Immediate feedback. As soon as I finish reading, they're ready to give me feedback. Right away, while it's fresh on our minds, I learn what worked and didn't.

4) Learning. While I listen to the other critiquers give their feedback, I learn something. It helps me be a better critiquer and a better writer.

5) Food. We meet at a frozen yogurt place. It's a great way to start the evening.

I know it's hard to get a real live critique group going, but it's worth the effort. Part of the trouble is finding other people serious enough about their writing to commit to meeting with you. But if you find them, take the time. It's necessary.


Terri Tiffany said...

I would love a live critique group- I do have an online one and attend ACFW but not with for critiques.

DL Hammons said...

I tried joining a local writers group, but was really disappointed with it and dropped out after a year. I have since met (via the same conference) a couple of other authors who live here locally and maybe something will come from that. :)

James Duckett said...

That's great, I glad you found something that is working out for you. I used to have a group I'd go to and the motivation was priceless, but it kind of fell apart unfortunately. I'd love to get them revived again, but St. George, UT is a small community so finding enough active users has been an uphill battle.

Elisa said...

the happy stomachs probably help to make tactful feedback too! Good for you!

and, no, we don't eat the crawdads. We tried that 2 summers ago. They were okay, but not awesome. and it is a ton of work to get enough meat to be more than a mini-meal. How DO those Louisiana-folk manage it?

Stephanie Black said...

That's awesome that you've found a great critique group! And meeting at a frozen yogurt place sounds like a very tasty way to meet!

*LLUVIA* said...

There is one here in my city through meetup.com, and they meet often. I know this because I have a friend who is part of the group. They are all sci/fi writers, and they are the coolest people ever!! Plus, I get brand new fresh material to read! I get to taste the undiscovered talent!!

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