Franken-Novel, Perfectionism & The Dark Side of Critique Groups

I couldn’t have come across this at a better time. I love my critique group, but sometimes you have to ignore the comments that you feel doesn’t help your work. I am guilty of trying to implement everyone’s suggestions – it’s daunting and discouraging. You have to write what’s right for your genre and this couldn’t have been said in any better way.

Kristen Lamb's Blog

After six years in critique her novel was “perfect.”

Critique groups can be wonderful. They can offer accountability, professionalism, and take our writing to an entirely new level. But, like most, things, critique groups also have a dark side. They can become a crutch that prevents genuine growth. Depending on the problems, critique groups can create bad writing habits and even deform a WIP so badly it will lose any chance at resonating with readers, thus being successful.

The key to avoiding problems is to be educated. Not all critique groups are worth our time. Some critique groups might have limitations that can be mitigated with a simple adjustment in our approach.

Traditional Critique Groups

Many of you have attended a traditional critique group. This is the “read a handful of printed pages or read so many pages aloud” groups. Traditional critique groups have some strengths. First and foremost, they…

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