After a long break, I'm excited that my critique group, The Pearl Girls, are getting back into the swing of critiquing. It got me thinking about what I've missed.
1) Their stories, and the unique voice that each of them has.
2) Mini-brainstorming--When it's not your own story, brainstorming is all the more fun. When a section's pace is lagging, or conflict seems to be weak, that's when critique partners tend to pull out their brainstorming hats and offer ideas in those cute little comment boxes. I love receiving them from my critique partners, because often they are the answer to prayers.
3) Grammar guru. I'm bad with grammar, but one of my critique partners is the master. Thanks Patti!
4) Keeping a schedule. By making rounds of submissions, we know when our own fifteen pages need to be ready.
5) Growing as a writer. Through editing other's work you do hone your craft, just as much probably as you do by receiving constructive criticism from those who may be eons beyond you in this journey. Seeing what works and how it works is as educational as learning how to fix your own writing. And by looking at in small sections, you have the opportunity to do some dissecting and really see how it works.
6) Sharing the struggle. Writing is a solitary endeavor by large, but when you work with a critique group, friendships form, and they form with people of like minds and like understanding. It's a gift!
There are many more benefits to having a critique partner/group to work with, but what about hiring a professional editor? Is there value in that? I'll talk more about professional edits on Wednesday.
If you're a member of a critique group, what is the greatest benefit you receive from yours? If you don't have a critique partner or group, are you hoping that changes soon, or is writing solo the best way for you?
Surrendering to Him,