My Take on Critique Groups by Wareeze Woodson – Guest Blog and Giveaway

1_20 conduct VBT_ConductUnbecomingOfAGentleman_Banner

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Wareeze will be awarding two eBooks to two randomly drawn commenters during the tour, and one $50 GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

My take on critique groups
Make no mistake about it. Searching for critique partners that fit with your schedule along with your skill level is difficult and often impossible. There are questions that must be answered in the search: Is there a convenient gathering place at a reasonable distance away? How willing are you to travel a great distance and is it worth the effort? Are you willing to listen to the advice offered?

Once you find a group, rules must be set. The length of time devoted to the meeting and how often the meetings will be held must be established. How many words or pages must be offered my each member at every meeting? Goals for the group should be established as well.

We all need encouragement, but if a writer does not receive any or little benefit from the meetings, interest wanes and the group will fall apart. Even very new writers should have something to contribute to the group. The most disheartening thing a writer can hear is “I couldn’t find anything wrong with it.” It is unpublished and a publisher cannot be found that will accept it, so what do you mean, you can’t find anything wrong with it? How can a writer grow with that sort of help? Nothing vicious must be said, but as a reader, you can mention what you liked, or perhaps not liked.

Is there more benefit from a long distance critique partner over the internet? Sometimes you may find the perfect match. She or he is better at the craft of writing, but you are better with the emotions that lift a manuscript out of simply a story to something a reader can experience with the characters. Lucky! Lucky!

Writing is writing, or so it’s said, but that is not necessarily true. If you write romance, historical or contemporary, and you are fortunate enough to meet with a group of romance writers, their comments are much more helpful for your story. Hopefully, a romance writer understands romance. Please don’t misunderstand, a good writer can contribute much craft wise and that is often invaluable to a group, whatever the genre.

If a writer chances to meld with a writer’s group, each with certain strengths to contribute, that author is very lucky indeed! The search for such a group is often long and tedious but worth it if you succeed. Keep trying!

1_20 conduct Author PicAbout the Author:I am a native Texan and still live in the Houston area. I married by high school sweetheart, and after raising 4 children, they blessed us with 8 grandchildren, AND after all these years, we still love each other. True romance is happy ever after.

Website ~ Twitter: @wareeze ~ Facebook

1_20 conduct Cover_Conduct Unbecoming of a GentlemanRecently widowed Lady Laurel Laningham flees Landings to escape her untenable position. Alone now and at the mercy of her sister-in-law, she decides to nestle under her aunt’s wings for a spell. To add to her burdens, her young son’s new guardian, Lord Adron Gladrey, has announced his intentions to take complete charge of his ward. The killer is stalking her and a devious jewel thief is stealing the family jewels. Can she convince her son’s guardian she is not a dangerous lunatic and is perfectly capable of raising her son or will he always consider her untrustworthy as a mother to his ward? Will his stubborn blindness send her straight into the path of the murderer, or will he relent in time to save her from following her husband into the grave?

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  1. Thanks for hosting!

  2. Linda Bennett Pennell says:

    Lucky indeed, dear friend!! Great post, Wareeze! Your advice is spot on!

    • Good morning,
      Thanks for inviting me to be on your site to promote my book. I appreciate it. I will be out of pocket until about 12:00 central time, but I will be back. Thanks. There is a bonus. Conduct Unbecoming of a Gentleman is on sales for the next 3 days at only .99. An epilogue has been added for your enjoyment. Happy reading.
      Wareeze Woodson

    • Thanks for the comment on my post and for the visit here today.

  3. I think you make great points, Wareeze. It is hard to find a good group, and it is very important that those in the group understand the genre you are writing in. I’ve been blessed to be part of a group for a long time now, and we all really get what the others are doing, and we’re not ever afraid to say, ‘this doesn’t work’. I think those are key ingredients. I enjoyed your book, Conduct Unbecoming A Gentleman, and I hope the readers here at Long and Short reviews take a look at it.

  4. I like the premise of the book, it sounds like a good read.

  5. I consider myself very fortunate to be a member of an excellent critique group. Each member brings something unique to the meet-ups.
    One of the most important things to bring to the group is your commitment. Make it a priority to be available at the agreed upon time and date, plus being prepared with new pages each week.
    Loved the book, Conduct Unbecoming of a Gentleman. I can’t wait for the next release, Wareeze.

  6. Finding the time to devote to the commitment plays a big role in finding a critique partner. It is on my list but I need to make sure I can do my part.

    Thanks for your ideas on the subject!

    • I don’t know where I would be without my great critique friends. They are such a help and always know what part of my story isn’t working. Thanks for dropping by and leaving your comment.

  7. My first critique group, and subsequent ones, netted me not only good advice but a circle of friends that I count among my BBFs. I think critique partners are important, indeed. Great post, Wareeze.

  8. Good to learn more about crit groups!

  9. A good critique partner is worth more than gold and harder to find. thanks for some good points.

  10. Thanks for hosting me today. I’ll check in again before I sign off for the night.

  11. Excellent advice regarding critique groups. Thanks Wareeze and best of luck with sales. 🙂

  12. Nice post

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  13. Good critique partners are great, however if a writer feels that the group is not right for him/her, they have to move on. My first (& last) experience with a critique group was horrid and has turned me off. The women involved spent more time gossiping and tearing down anyone who missed the meeting. The criticism was never constructive. Now I rely on a few close friends (authors or editors) and they’ve helped me quite a bit.

  14. I am not a writer but I am a beta reader for a few authors. I always fix spelling/grammar when I can but my main focus is the story for continuity and clarity and the big one – does it work?

    Even if all I find are spelling and grammar changes I always have something to say to the author, pointing out favorite lines or areas I really felt propelled the story forward. Most of the time there are a few areas I comment about – in the last one I did I HATED the ending. Partly because of tue cliffhanger to go into book two but also because O felt the heroine gave up on the hero as soon as the bad guy threatened her. When the author and I discussed it she realized the internal struggle of the heroine wasn’t evident enough so she added/changed a bit and I was happier. I still hate that the bad guy got the upper hand at this point but I no longer hate her for “giving up” on the hero.

    As a beta reader (or a crit partner) the job is to make the book the best it can be and teach the author to see these things for themselves as they write.

  15. Mary Preston says:

    I can see how a critique group or partner could be very helpful.


  16. Sounds like a great read!!
    Thanks for the chance to win!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

  17. Elise-Maria Barton says:

    As a reader who hates to leave reviews, I’m unsure how suitable I would be as a critique partner vs a critic ! I’ll stick to the good stuff, reading and word of mouth recommendations 😉

  18. Nice thoughts.

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