I admit, I get nervous when I submit a newly written chapter, knowing that it's more probably going to be torn to shreds (over and over and over again), but isn't that how you learn and grow? By receiving honest criticism about what's wrong with the story or what I'm doing right, it helps me decide what parts of the story needs to be changed, and it helps to identify which parts are confusing (I'm experiencing that with my new story at the moment. I think something is straightforward and clear, but I've received a couple of reviews that questions the actions... now I'm stuck with trying to figure out how to describe it properly).
So, what do you look for when trying to find a critique group?
- Honest feedback even if it's negative - yeah, you might like someone who always loves what you're writing, but if they won't tell you which parts are not working, then you will never know what might need to be changed.
- Commitment - both you and your review partners need to be committed to reading and reviewing chapters on a regular basis.
- Understands/likes your genre - Someone that only reads romance might not be the best one to review a YA or Fantasy story (me, I'm a part of a YA crit group, so we all love what we all write).
- Supporting - well, this isn't necessary, but it can sure help. My crit group is always there when feeling down or there's a success. It's always good to find a group that supports your goals.
So, do you have a critique group or beta reader for your wriitng? And, when do you let someone read your writing?