A Good Critique Group


Those of us who write know that we make mistakes. It is inevitable. We get so involved in our stories that we can’t see the forest through the trees as the saying goes.

It isn’t unusual to change the hero’s eye color or have a character suddenly appear in a room without actually traveling there. We all write awkward sentences and get too wordy in a scene thereby slowing down the pace. Don’t even get me started on the spelling errors and grammar mistakes. A fresh set of eyes can catch these things. A good critique group is essential to the writing process.

I’m fortunate to have a very good critique group in my local Romance Writers of America chapter. We have a critique session every Tuesday evening at 7:00 pm. We are a far flung chapter and getting together in person is not practical, but this is the age of technology and a solution was found by using Google Chats. Members submit the chapter or pages they want to have critiqued via email on Wednesday. We have a limit of 3500 words per person. The members of the group have a week to go through the submissions before we get together for our video critique session. Each submission is reviewed and members give their opinions on what they liked and the mistakes they noticed. Submissions are emailed back to the author with notes and comments.

I’ve found the critique group very helpful in my process. There is also a secondary benefit; you have to write in order to have something to submit. This keeps me on my toes so I have a complete chapter ready each week for the group to review.

Do you belong to a critique group?

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Augustina Van Hoven

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