Writing – Critique Groups

Ahhh, critique groups.  Love em.  And that’s from someone who, er, rather dislikes criticism.  You want to learn how to write?  Have five other writers critique your first chapter.  Trust me.  You’ll learn a lot. 

The absolute best thing I’ve done for my writing is to join two critique groups: FF&P Mudpuddlers and KOD’s Lethal Ladies.  FF&P is the Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal Online Chapter of Romance Writers of America (RWA).  KOD is RWA’s Kiss of Death online chapter (mysteries and suspense.)  Excellent, experienced writers read through your chapters and…help.  And that old adage about if you want to learn something, teach it?  Well, it’s true.  Edit other works, and yours gets stronger.

Is it difficult?  Heck yeah.  Does it burn when you get a critique back and there are more green comments than original prose on the page?  Oh yeah.  Is the critiquer probably right?  In my case, they have been.  And I have no doubt that I would not be on my way to seeing my first book on the shelves had I not joined these groups.  I was a head-bopping, passive verb lovin, random dialogue tag user when I first started writing over a year ago. 

I have also unexpectedly made some very good friends that I’ve met in these groups.  My husband isn’t sure they really exist – he thinks my computer talks to me.  But I know they’re real.  And I can’t wait to meet some of them at the RWA national conference in July.

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5 thoughts on “Writing – Critique Groups”

  1. Lynn Rush says:

    SWEET — You said it perfect here, “I was a head-bopping, passive verb lovin, random dialogue tag user…”

    I laughed out loud there, cuz I am right there with ya!

    My first crit group EVER (May of 2008) was with ACFW and the girl asked, “Do you know what POV is?”

    I’m like, “Um, NO….”

    You’re so right Rebecca, crit groups are a MUST. I’ve met some awesome friends through the MudPuddle (FFP group of RWA) and the crit group through ACFW.

    Great post!

  2. Rebecca Zanetti says:

    Thanks, Lynn! Maybe we should get t-shirts. “Head-boppers” or something like that. 🙂

  3. bigTone says:

    your ‘friends’ are names HP and Dell…but I’m sure they are real… luv, tone.

  4. Brandi Hall says:

    Oh, Bec…you are so right, woman! Had it not been for the mudpuddlers (you and Jen mainly), I would NOT have a book coming out in May. The things I have learned are unbelievable. Before the crit group, I didn’t even know I had a tense and comma issue. UGH! I know I still have so much to learn from my fellow critters…and I look forward to getting back to my other books so I can finish something for them to ink up! hehe

    Great post, hon.

    And Big Tone…we do exist. And we know where you live! *giggles w/ only a slightly evil tone*

  5. Nondueplum says:

    You rock!!