The number of people who want to write novels is quite high, but very few people actually make it happen. I get questions fairly often from aspiring writers, and a common question is how I found my critique group. My group is close-knit and I am very fortunate to have found them. Based on my experiences, here are my suggestions for finding your own group:
- National Novel Writing Month. We all started as NaNo’ers. That’s how we met. When you participate in NaNo, you find others in your area who share your passion for writing. Some people might call it crazy, but we prefer to call it passion. ;o)
- Network. Talk to your librarian. Tell people you work with that you are a writer. Tell your family and friends. Chances are, you’ll find other aspiring writers.
- Test Drive. Don’t commit to a group until you’ve had a chance to read each other’s writing. Genre doesn’t matter as much as passion, enthusiasm, dedication, and skill level.
- Find what works for you. My group meets every other week. We send a few chapters to each other by email the week before we meet, then we talk over suggested critiques face to face. But that may not work for you – do you want a high level overview of an entire novel, or are you looking for intensive line edits?
In a future post, I’ll give some tips about how to get the most out of your critique group. If you have ideas/tips, I’d love to hear them!