I took a writing class in college.
It was my creative writing teacher who suggested I look into some writing conferences (which I didn’t even know existed and we will talk about at a different time). From the conferences I made friends. These friends turned into critique partners.
So how do you get those crit partners?
Getting a critique group is one of the most asked questions at our local conferences. But where do you find them? Like zombies, do they somber out of the woodwork only at certain times of the night, feasting upon the brains of other writers? Well, kind of.
Here’s what you can do to find a great crit group:
- Many times writer’s conferences will have sign up sheets to pair you with a group of people who live close to you. Look for these sign up sheets. Don’t be afraid to put your name out there.
- Talk to people (writing conferences, facebook, twitter). I know, some of us writers are used to isolation and doing things on our own, but you have to step out of your comfort zone and find out who lives near you, who writes for the same age group, and/or who is willing to critique online.
- Finding critique groups online is pretty easy. Within two minutes, I had found about forty of them (thank you google). I have heard both bad and good about online crit groups. The secret is trying to find which one suits your personal preferences best. Also, remember there will be both novice and amateur writers. You might be surprised how well they can pick out the things that are wrong with your book.
- If you don’t want to use crit partners, find beta readers. It’s good to have a few writers review your work…and readers! Your readers will be able to point out places where the writing doesn’t work.
But which ever you choose, critique group/beta readers, have someone read over your work (but not your mom -you know, the bias thing).
Some people become too close to their work and can’t see the issues with the writing. This doesn’t happen to just beginner writers, but I have seen it happen with more experienced, published writers. An outside perspective can help you catch the little imperfections (or big ones) that you haven’t seen before.
Writers need support. Publishing, querying, and showing your work to the world takes a huge amount of courage. Having a support system will help you through the rough patches. Plus writers understand writers. Novel writers all have the same goal. To get their book out there. Having a common goal, helps with the hiccups of writing.
Grammar issues always exist. Having someone look over your Oxford commas makes a huge improvement in your writing. Make a list of issues you have with your grammar and this will help you pin point those little grammar goof ups.
Okay my writing friends. Go out there and find yourself the right crit partners for you.
You’ve got this. You can do it.