Thanks Violetta for taking over today! I'm looking forward to reading your thoughts!
My take on critique groups
Critique groups are both a gift from the writing gods and hindrance depending on size and commitment requirements. For me, everything always leads back to my writing time. Early on in my writing career, I was fortunate enough to meet two very talented authors through my publisher that wrote historicals and shared the same ambitions and dreams I have. Months later, a veteran author took me under her wing and shared her experiences and time. Without these three incredible people, I’d be lost. So I consider myself very fortunate. I have a small critique group and it works.
I believe there’s a tipping point though, when it gets too big and group dynamics change. I’ve heard horror stories about large critique groups. Clicks. Favoritism. But, I deeply admire anyone who can thrive in that environment.
I strongly believe any successful author in the business is obligated to foster/mentor new authors. Critique groups are a great way to accomplish this. I’ve learned so much from my partners—improved my craft—became a sharper editor—and made lifelong connections as a result of my critique group. One of the greatest benefits of working with the same partners is the level of attention and honest criticism you receive. You build trust quickly. Not to mention timelines.
My advice is to establish long term relationships with critique partners who have the same goals in mind. Not necessarily the same genre or writing style. Without my partners I’d be lost.