I have never understood the desire to belong to a critique group. I don’t want twenty people, I may or may not know well, telling me how my story is or is not working. It’s my story! I know what works; I know which characters are suppose to do what and when. Did Hemingway have a critique group? How about Jane Austen? Hell, for that matter, how many dozens of people gave Fifty Shades of Grey a once over before it sold a bazillion books (ha! that would have been interesting). Nope, not doing it! Here’s a critique… just write. All the time. And once you have it just the way YOU want it, pass it along to an editor and be done!
Every writer gets the notion — from college, from movies, from the Series of Tubes — that they should be in a critique group.
This notion is seven separate types of wrong.
It’s time for critique groups to go the way of the rotary phone — to make way for something better, faster and stronger.
Peoples of the interwebs: critique groups are obsolete
A critique group is useful for certain things:
(a) university professors who want students to break into groups and leave him alone for the next 45 minutes,
(b) writers who really, really like to read their work aloud,
(c) literary snobs who like to say silly pretentious things about the work of others, and
(d) happy writers who like to socialize with fellow writers and talk smack about the craft while drinking bourbon.
Sidenote: Yes, your particular critique group is wonderful, and you couldn’t live without it…
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