Tag: getting help

Secrets of the Writer’s Circle

Last week, we talked about critique groups. This week, I wanted to share some keys to creating an effective critique group. Let me paint a picture of what I mean when I say “writer’s circle”: A group of upwards to 10 (more than that gets difficult) that meet regularly (weekly or twice a month at least) to read aloud and critique each other’s work. They write as much feedback as they can, and then take turns giving oral feedback where appropriate. Afterwards, they may stay and chat about other writer-related topics. The group is for serious writers who want to publish (traditionally or self-publish), and (hopefully) open to all skill levels.

Giving credit where credit is due, a lot of this comes from my writer’s guild: The Houston Writer’s Guild.

Trust and Encouragement

Any good writer’s circle must be a place where everyone trusts the other members. This is difficult. There is always that one person who seems to know everything and bleed others dry.

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A Circle of Word Smiths (Critique Groups)

No man is an island. No writer writes alone. Sure, most of our work exists inside our own minds and all that time at the keyboard is a solitary duty. Even more, we edit and cut and revise so that only we really know what’s happening in the story. We hold all the pieces; alone. And if your writing is thereputic, or for you, then that is as far as it need go. Enjoy your time. Covet the story. Hold it tight and embrace the solitude.

However, if you write for others — to entertain, to teach, to share, to get paid, then you can only go so far by yourself. If there is one thing all agents and editors agree on, its that you must have a strong critique group. Not just friends and family. Not only the students in your class. Peers can help you find things in your writing that will make it better. You want readers to read your work, may as well start now 😉

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