Critique Groups

We had our critique meeting last Friday and it was bitter sweet. The sweet was reviewing Lisa’s manuscript which was such a fun read. “Slacker Nanny Falls in Love” is sure to find a home. The voice is pitch perfect. Of course we had a few suggestions—nothing is ever perfect. But I hope my next manuscript gets a similar reaction. I won’t have much rewriting to do if it does. The bitter part of the meeting was saying good-bye to Sean McCollum. The rat is moving to the Virgin Islands. Really, Sean? You have to move to paradise and abandon us right before winter? And while we are happy that he has this opportunity, we’re going to miss him so much. Getting the right mix of people in a critique group is so important. Having a bad member can really upset the balance. My group once seriously discussed disbanding and reforming so that we didn’t have to tell a member that she was toxic and we wanted her to leave. To avoid that that kind of situation, here are some things to consider if you are starting or looking for new members for a critique group: Are you working at your craft? If so, how much have you written? (You need to determine where this person, or the group, are on their writing journey. Are they beginners? Intermediate? Are some published? Is it a mix?) Ideally, you want a  mix. If you are a beginning writer and the group is full of published writers it may not be the right one for you. They may demand more of you...