First, welcome to my newest blog followers!
Everywhere I turn, I see the “C” word.
Critique groups! I’m not sure what the reason for this, but it may be partially due to the ACFW’s redesign of their critique group model. If you weren’t aware, instead of assigning those who request to a group, they are now using a “large” group model. Everyone is allowed to submit up to two chapters per week, but they must critique two submissions for every one they submit.
This allows for individuals to create bonds themselves and break off into smaller groups as personalities jive and click.
For the record, I think this is a smashing idea and hope it works out well! I’ve signed up and am interested in getting the feedback and seeing how it goes.
The other reason for this current craze is probably the fact that two major writing contests just released the results of the contest, and everyone is eager to have help in figuring out where to go next!
So, let’s talk about critique groups since everyone else seems to be doing so! (call me a conformist if you will!)
Here are some benefits I see of them:
* getting different perspectives on your manuscript
* being held accountable
* Creating bonds with other writers
* A group to ask your “dumb” questions to without judgement
And some… not really drawbacks, but potential pitfalls if you will:
* Being led down a wrong path… critique group members can be wrong too!
* Losing your voice (not a personal worry of mine, but I’ve seen it happen to others)
* Stealing ideas (again, not something I worry about, and TOTALLY unethical)
* The time investment
Discussion: What benefits/drawbacks do YOU see of critique groups? Do you prefer a “partner” relationship or a “group”? If you are in one, how’s it working out for you?