This post is by Jackie Rod, author of Georgia, Stories on my Mind.
Why do writers need to join critique or writing groups?
The answer is simple. Some writers are natural-born writers; however, most of us need a lot of help.
Critique partners help you learn and grow. They ponder over your manuscript for character weaknesses, gaps in the plot, and grammar errors. Their work is invaluable. They push you to be a better writer.
The ideal critique group is made up of writers who are on the same writing level and write in the same genre. Constructive criticism and positive feedback should be the rule of the day. Be kind, but be honest. You should never gloss over poor writing. This is unfair to the other writer. Respect your critique partners. Respect is a two-way street.
Benefits of critique groups: accountability, bonding, brainstorming, craft, editing, grammar, encouragement, listening skills, inspiration, motivation, learning, and friendship.
Like any relationship, critique groups take on their own character. Select your critique partners with care. Pick a group you’re comfortable with. Set guidelines and stick to them. Be accountable to the process and each other. Everyone has an opinion. You should not change your style of writing, because someone else thinks they know better. It is your story.
Critique groups evolve over time. You can outgrow each other. Perhaps it is time to move on. Be grateful for what you’ve learned. You may decide on a writing partner rather than a group next time. Choose a writing partner whose skills and schedule work well for you.
Writing groups are essential for all levels of writing. A writing group or chapter is networking at its best. A small writing group may foster closer friendships, while a large writing chapter may have more advanced writers for role models. Bottom line–We learn the craft, and we help each other.
Presentations, classes, workshops, and conferences help us learn the craft. Veteran writers who have achieved recognition far and wide can show us how they accomplished their writing goals. We are inspired by their success.
Writing chapters offer classes and workshops that teach us how to improve our craft. We learn by doing. A writer can never take too many classes or attend too many workshops. We can never learn enough about writing.
Writing conferences are great sources of education and networking. Whatever your weakness—characterization, dialogue, point of view, or plot—you can find a program to improve your skills.
Networking at a conference helps make new friends. Be bold. Smile and speak to other attendees. Spending time with other writers can make us better writers.
I attend writing conferences as often as I can. I enjoy meeting new authors, agents, and editors. I hope to see you at a writing conference and talk about that jewel of a book you want to polish and publish soon.
Come visit Georgia within these pages as you read heartwarming stories shaped by local traditions and legends. The characters live life to the fullest through joys and hardships. Inhale the essence of Georgia’s revitalized small town squares while eating hand- scooped ice cream on a park bench. Each town has its own magic. Sometimes the most real things in life are things we cannot see but those that deeply touch us, as the folks in these tales learn. Share smiles and shed tears as you travel the curving road of life with these Georgia characters. Are you ready for an unforgettable experience of hope, faith, trust, reconciliation, and love?
Out now on Touch Not the Cat Books.
About the Author, Jackie Rod
Jackie Rod is a fiction writer, loving wife of a legal beagle, and mother of three children who has blessed her with seven fantastic grandchildren. After Jackie retired from teaching, her love of words and stories led her to begin writing fiction. Reading and traveling enrich her life and she jumps at the opportunity to teach a workshop or attend a writing conference. She belongs to five writing chapters/groups. Jackie’s work can be found in twelve published books on Amazon, in several Metro Atlanta libraries, and independent bookstores.