A lot of editors in the publishing world recommend critique groups, and if you are one of the authors who has found themselves a wonderful group, then you should consider yourself lucky. Finding one that you fit into can be tricky, and can take, not only some time, but a few trial and error groups.
But why is it that critique groups are so important? And what do they have to offer?
A writer knows their story. They know what they are trying to say, what point they are trying to get across, and what purpose their book has to serve. Readers, however, don’t know what to expect and because of that, they will notice holes and missing links that you, the writer, might not notice since you know what is going to happen.
Maybe you’ve hit a wall, maybe your plot line doesn’t work and it needs a new twist, or maybe it is fine, but needs just something, that little something to make it over the top. Maybe you need a new ending, or need to know how to start a particular chapter or scene. Whatever the case, bouncing ideas off with other writers is not only a good way to get past your writers block, but a way to look at your story in a whole new light.
Unless of course, there is an agreement for heavy edits, you should never expect a full Editor’s type of edit from your critique group-especially when they’re giving you their time away from their own lives to help you. With that said, though, semi-editing is a great source that you can tap into with your group. Every writer needs another set of eyes now and then to watch for passive voice, show don’t tell, misspelled or misused words like there, their, and they’re, and missed commas, or quotation marks.