I wanted to join a critique group, so I joined a critique group in March. We meet every other week. It’s a good sized group with seven regular attenders in the general fiction group, and six of us in the sci-fi group.
I thought, this is it, if I can prove my writing out here i’ll be good to go.
I’ve quickly learned that the group has valuable input and points out areas that need work. But, I don’t think I’ll ever satisfy all of them, and that is ok. They are not in the middle of the bell curve when it comes to readers. They are extreme readers. They’re writers. They know the rules, they have style preferences, etc.
Don’t get me wrong. I get great constructive criticism. But, I need to make sure to change essential “how” I write errors and make sure I don’t change the “why” I write, and to some degree, the “what” I write. I have to make sure I don’t become a politician-writer, where I’m just swayed by the opinions of others and have no real identity I can call my own.
It is a difficult balance that I have not yet learned.
But, I am getting back to writing, keeping their constructive criticism’s and guidance in mind, but not writing to please them.
What’s been your experience with critique groups?