My Feelings About Critique Groups by RoseAnn DeFranco – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. RoseAnn will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.
Hello and thank you for having me back on Long and Short Reviews! Today I have been asked to discuss my feelings on Critique Groups. I am blessed to be part of a fabulous group blog/critique group. The Violet Femmes are a group of women who are all members of NJRW. Due to our numbers, it is hard for everyone to critique everyone’s work. It is a productive group of women with more completed manuscripts than you can imagine. Sometimes it’s impossible to keep up with everyone’s projects, although we do try to weigh in as much as possible, even if it’s just on a portion of a manuscript. Above all else we are there to offer support and guidance during the writing process and navigating business industry decisions. We fill the cheering section when good news arrives. LOTS of good news has come rolling in for the Femmes recently. I’d encourage anyone to check out this fabulous group of authors on our blog site, The blog is meant to be our journey to our Writing Happily Ever After. We write about a mixture of writing tips, industry information, and sometimes we stalk (interview) a favorite author. The Femmes have become more than a critique group, they are my lifeline. Writing is an emotional journey and I would not be able to navigate the terrain without them.

I think you’re more interested in my own experiences and feelings specific to the critiquing process and groups. Like I’ve already mentioned, I’ve been blessed. Not only are my critique partners all brilliant writers, they are a loving and compassionate group whom I trust beyond measure. As someone who critiques others work, I LOVE diving in to a new manuscript and help a friend shape it. Critique partners can help with continuity errors, they are that extra set of eyes that say…wait, I don‘t get what’s going on here, they let you know what is missing, and also let you know when HELLO, your hero just behaved in a way that completely contradicts everything he’s stood for the entire first half of the manuscript. Either fix it, or give me a plausible explanation as to why. When I critique, I don’t hold back. I let my partners know my favorite parts of the manuscript, and also what doesn’t work. Hopefully I’m capable of providing some brainstorming triggers that will help them find the fix. My hope is that my critique partners are just as tough on me. It is also great to know you’re writing that first draft for a potential audience. In addition to the Violet Femmes, I have a beta reader… also something that I highly recommend. While I’m writing a first draft and crafting a scene it is exciting to know my CP’s and Beta will read it. Again, they are all tough on me, and I LOVE them for it.

One thing that is important to note, and we Femmes tell each other this all the time. Whether the information is positive or negative…it is just ONE person’s opinion. Take it or leave it. However, if you are part of a group and more than one partner points something out to you, you best take a closer look.

I have heard of not so pleasant critique partnering experiences. I know of some writers who flat out refuse to show anyone their work after having such experiences. Personally, I could not manage all this alone. Had it not been for my critique group, I would not have had the confidence to step out into the published community.

Wow! Thanks for asking this question, and thank you for featuring Return to Audubon Springs on Long and Short Reviews today!

About the Author:1-& return MEDIA KIT RoseAnn DeFrancoRoseAnn DeFranco grew up in upstate NY with her nose in a book and a song in her heart. Following the pursuit of a musical theatre career in NYC, she turned her creative energy to writing romance. RoseAnn blogs about her writing experiences with her critique partners at www.the A NJ shore transplant, she enjoys time spent at the beach with her family. She would love to one day live in a quaint shore town like the fictional town Audubon Springs from her BROTHERS OF AUDUBON SPRINGS series. More information about these Contemporary Romantic Comedies can be found at Catch up with RoseAnn on Facebook or Twitter.

MEDIA KIT ReturntoAudubonSprings_8071_750When Emma Grant returns to her family’s Audubon Springs beach house to fulfill the stipulations of her father’s will, she has every intention of forcing her former lover out of the house for good. She’s never fit into her wealthy family and would prefer avoiding her past, but with her brother threatening to reveal her young daughter, she has no choice.

Rafe Iuliano has other plans. The wealthy Grants tried to bribe him out of Emma’s life years ago, but he’s determined to prove once and for all that a master carpenter is worthy of Emma and the house.

Their ridiculous and steamy battle for the house reignites the love and passion that bloomed between them years ago. But when Rafe discovers she’s kept their daughter a secret for two years, can he overcome anger and pride to claim his family and the love of his life, or will the deception drive a final wedge between them?

Buy the book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or the publisher.

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  1. must read

  2. Thanks for hosting!

  3. Hello – Thank you for hosting me today and for posing the question on Critique groups!

  4. Great post on critique groups, RoseAnn. As one of the founding members of The Violet Femmes blog, we started out on a journey to HEA and publication. Many of us have gotten there, while some are close. Regardless, we’re all there to support one another through our success and struggles. For me, having a network of fabulous and talented women to reach out to for support has been a wonderful experience and instrumental in my own journey to publication.

  5. Mia Lansford says

    I’d just like to add. When I first joined NJRW I heard about critic partners being important. It is three years later – no four – and I still have never had one. Hearing others gush over it and seeing results makes the journey alone hard and depressing. When you want to give up there is nobody to say don’t. So if you are unsure about sharing your work my advise is if somebody offers to help you take it because it is not that easy to find someone and it is a gift.

    • Mia,

      I understand the frustration. I was in NJRW for 5 years before I started to critique with anyone. Sometimes every stage of the journey is long. I’m always willing to take a look at your material.


  6. Sounds like a good read. I like the premise of the story.

  7. I loved reading your post! I found it very insightful and encouraging to see how the writing community works at trying to better each other and help their friends constantly improve, but in a way that’s uplifting and helpful. Thank you so much for sharing!

    cloud.weaver.girl AT gmail DOT com

  8. Well said, RoseAnn! A support group is so critical in this business, and I feel so fortunate for mine.

  9. Jaye Marie Rome says

    We love you, too, RoseAnn!

    We are so happy to have you be a part of the Violet Femmes!


  10. Interesting premise

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  11. The Violet Femmes sound great.

  12. Jenna Blue says

    So well said, RoseAnn! I, too, try to be very honest, never nasty, but sometimes funny, when I critique because that’s what I want right back. I also make sure to highlight the places where I’ve laughed, or been touched, or been horrified. So important to know if your readers are getting it, you know? : )

  13. Mary Preston says

    I can see how a critique group could be very useful.


  14. Hi RoseAnn,

    Terrific article. No two critique partners are created equally, right? You might get two completely different opinions but at least it gives you something to consider. Working with critique partners is emotional too, because they’re on the “first line” and read a work in progress at its rawest form (which is scary!) Yet valuable. Glad you have had such a positive experience. Michele

  15. What a great support group. They’re always helpful in whatever you do 🙂
    The book sounds amazing. Thanks for sharing.
    lorih824 at yahoo dot com

  16. Hi RoseAnn,

    The Violet Femmes are an awesome group of ladies. I love my critique partners, too. The right partners can make a huge difference in how you feel about writing day by day. Mine have had to talk me out of some major cases of I-suckitis. Plus, critique partners apparently come with chocolate. What more could you ask for?

    • Hi Emma,

      It is great to have a wonderful support group to pick you up when you’re feeling low. You are very blessed in your circumstances. You should never have the I-suckitis, but one he occasion you do, I’m glad there’s chocolate! 🙂

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