I adore my writing critique group. We’ve been together for ten years. Each year we go on a lovely writing retreat to Netarts, along the coast of Oregon. We bring our laptops, set up our cozy writing spaces, fill our mugs with lattes and tea… and write! During our breaks, we discuss our stories, plot lines, character development and provide some critiquing for each other. Our friendship continues to grow over the years and many happy memories have been made.
Not every critique group has an annual writing retreat. However, an effective group will meet consistently on a monthly or weekly basis. If you desire to join a critique group, I recommend attending a writing conference. Ask other writers who live in your area and write in the same genre if you can join their group, or would be willing to form a new group with you.
Other writers can provide fresh perspective and insight into your story and writing. Just be certain you are ready to hear the negative along with the positive. After all, a critique group is there to help you grow as a writer and sometimes those growing pains hurt. You can also learn about the craft of writing, simply from critiquing the writing of others as you determine what works and what doesn’t.
Critique groups are worth the time and effort. And you never know what kindred spirits you’ll find to support, motivate and encourage you!