Many of you mentioned having critique partners or belonging to critique groups. Agent Chip MacGregor had a great post (Feb.19) about the need for writers to have a critique partner or group. Among other things he said: Every writer needs a critique group. New writer or experienced hand, you gain wisdom when you have other writers looking at your work. A critique group offers you an honest appraisal, and provides an on-going learning experience.
I can't say that I've had much experience yet with either. When I joined ACFW, I signed up right away for a critique group. I filled out their questionnaire and critiqued their sample document. I waited a few weeks, and finally was matched with three other very sweet, godly, historical writers. We introduced ourselves, then organized a schedule for exchanging our writing.
I lasted a week. I quickly realized I could not put forth the amount of time and energy such a group required, especially if I wanted to give them my best feedback without rushing through their chapters. And I didn't want to sacrifice too much of my limited writing time. So, I begged their forgiveness and backed out of the group.
I'm just beginning the process of getting linked with a critique partner, a wonderful new blogging friend, Sherrinda. We recently discovered we both write historical romances in the middle ages and our stories start on a similar vein. We're still trying to figure out how to exchange our manuscripts, how to edit, what time frames to use, and all of the other details that critiquing involves.
Which have you tried, critique group or critique partner? What was your experience (for either the positive or negative)?
P.S. And if you have any advice for Sherrinda and me as we start our partnership, I'd love to hear that too.