Friday, August 6, 2010

Critique groups

How do writers break out of the isolation of their own writing to share it with others before sending it to an agent or editor? Everyone knows writing can be a lonely business and that writers are the worst judges of their own work. Some think everything they write is gold, others hate every word. Rarely is either true.
I have a great first reader who happens to be a writer herself and a good and honest judge of my work. She doesn't coddle me, but always gives great advice and isn't afraid to tell me when something makes no sense or just doesn't work. I also have an agent who does the same thing, but she sees things at a later stage.
But I also have a third, invaluable source of criticism, my critique group.This group of writers meets every month to share new work and give constructive criticism to any and all. We focus on childrens books from picture books to middle-grade, my thing, to Young Adult.I would never have been published without the criticism of the people on this group.
Finding the right group can be hard, I got lucky the first time around and now that I'm coordinating it the group fits my style even better. But finding one is well worth it. Very few successful writers will say that they never had anyone to read they're work. You need those extra eyes if you're going to sell what you've written.

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