Sunday, November 1, 2009

The 5 Ways A Critique Group Benefits My Writing

I’m a wife, mom of five year old twins, President of their preschool, Sunday softball player and a writer of a young adult novel. Why and how does a critique group fit into my schedule?

The 5 Ways A Critique Group Benefits My Writing
by Hilde Garcia


I‘ve made a commitment to meet twice a month. I honor my word and submit pages for review. I meet my deadline. A deadline, like the deadline an editor gives for a revision, keeps me honest. The process of writing and revising is an on-going one.

 My critique group helps me meet my goals.


These are good things! I have three or four people reading my MS with varied perspectives. Each mind focuses on a certain aspect. One member might notice all the grammar or structure, another might notice if I’m being true to my characters, and yet another person might ask the questions of why this or why that.

When I review the comments, I find a precise place to begin revising.


Many times I feel that I can’t revise. When a first draft looms ominously, I would much rather do the dishes, eat a pint of ice cream or watch TV. However, I have a group of people who are as invested as I am in seeing a finished product, I write through those “dark” moments.

My group keeps me focused.


Every person in my critique group has valuable information about the business of writing, about classes or exercises that will work. Their varied backgrounds in writing help me figure out submission guidelines. They can also suggest further reading, which is very helpful. These areas increase my writing knowledge.

The multitude of ideas strengthens my writing.


Many pursuits in life are solitary ones. Writing is usually considered one of them. A critique group offers me a chance to make friends, create a network of support, stay on schedule and learn to listen to opinions and criticisms in a safe environment. When I venture out into the actual world of submissions, rejections deadlines and editors, I will actually be able to approach them with ease, confidence and grace.

My critique group offers me a good head start.

Excited about Critique Groups? Want to find one? Check out… SCBWI Critique Connections. Click on For Writers and then select Critique Connections.

Next week, I will share with you how I formed my group and some helpful critique tips.


  1. Encouraging post, Hilde, and it was nice to meet you at Writer's Day! You sound so busy, but it's good you make time to do something just for you.

  2. Our critique group keeps me motivated to write and rewrite.


  3. I have been in several critiques groups. They were all good. But this one is special It really stands out in my mind...kind of like a glittering vampire (I meant that in a really good way)


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