The Value of a Critique Group
Writing is a solitary craft, but it doesn't have to be. One thing I've noticed in today's indie publishing world, is I can immediately tell authors who have worked in critique group first and those who haven't.
Those in critique groups produce excellent work. This includes everything from keeping to one point of view per chapter, excellent sentence structure, very few gerunds, and even a thorough synopsis. There are few story holes, plots are usually well developed, and they've brought to life their characters. Their work is usually so well polished with so few errors that it makes it much more difficult to place them on the rejection/slush pile. Their work always makes me stop and look real hard at their product. I notice!
On the other hand, I have encountered authors who haven't worked with critique groups and their work may be full of errors, both typos and technical writing errors. Even their synopsis' aren't as strong or as well developed as those in critique groups.
I run a highly successful on-line critique group:
A critique group is also highly beneficial for aspiring authors because they require you to critique the work of others. There is no better way to learn to self-edit and the art of writing than by critiquing and working one-on-one with other authors. You have the opportunity of receiving feedback on every chapter. It allows you a glimpse into what your readers will see and think when they read your work.
Yes, being part of critique group is more work because you must also equally critique those who critique you. But in the long run, I'd rather spend the time up front learning and improving than sending out submission after submission and receiving tons of rejections. Wouldn't you?
And in this world of indie authors, the work produced is better edited, more succinct, and much more polished. So today, I'm grateful to my fellow critique group partners for making me a better writer. Thanks for teaching and sharing your knowledge and expertise with me.