Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Get Feedback From Out Of Your Circle

Critique groups and critique partners are essential in this business. Considering the fact that writing is such a private activity where the majority of the time it is you spending time with your characters, getting that outside feedback is the only way to succeed. We end up writing with blinders on and, unfortunately, cannot see beyond the words we have written. This, of course means that we don't see our mistakes and flaws.

But, while critique groups have a lot to offer writers, they are only as good as the members of the group. Along the same lines, with many critique groups, there is absolutely no difference between you editing your own work, or having someone else look at it. In simple terms, you are all looking at it through the same perspective and point of view.

Don't get me wrong. Those critique partners are doing everything they can to help out, but more often than not, they are not seeing anything different. For this reason, it is always important to take that writing out of your comfort zone and find people who are not familiar with both your work, as well as your genre.

Think of it this way:

  • The person who does technical writing will give you the organization perspective.
  • The person writing romance will give you the relationship side of things. 
  • In romance, a guy can tell you if your hero would think that way.
  • In romance, a woman can tell you if the heroine would think that way.
  • The poet can provide the wordsmithing.
You can do the same thing with people writing in different genres. Sci-fi writers can provide the world building. The historical writers can do the same thing but with a slightly different twist.

Look outside of your group and see what people think of your current WIP! You might be able to find that twist you have bee looking for.


  1. This is so true. I recently received critiques from people who had never read my work and the points they made were things that my regular critique partners never mentioned because they were familiar with my work. It was very helpful.

  2. What a helpful tip! I have two groups I find so helpful, but I have to agree that it would help to bring in an outside viewpoint from time to time.

  3. It can be difficult to overcome the reality of a Writing Group, that no one wants to hurt your feelings. Of course, I find myself reciprocating.