I joined an online critique group to gain reviews of my work in progress. I learned I had to earn the right to have my work critiqued by providing the service to others. This is an equitable trade.
I find writing a critique to be work. The hardest thing for me is not being able to immerse myself in the story. The second hardest is to remember this is not my story. I am not writing it. My final entreaty to the author is to make use of my comments as he or she desires.
I provided comment on three works before I submitted a piece. The comments I received were encouraging and comprehensive. The latter comments were what I wanted. I kept them in mind while I revised of my work in progress. I remember how I valued them when I do a critique.
The value of the critique group is the growth in my ability to see faults in my writing. Such as, I love the word “that”. I found I used it several times in the first chapter of my work in progress. I ran a search and found “that” 390 times in 50k words. *Sheepish grin.* I also found several telling words such as appeared, decided, felt, seemed, and thought. These require effort to replace. I have to find ways to show what I told which leads to new sentences, sometimes paragraphs of new material. The result, though, will make enjoyable reading.
I continue to give critiques. I gain something from every one I do.
Are you in a critique group? Have you been? What was your experience? Tell me in the comments.