Friday, March 27, 2009

The Dynamics of Writers Groups

There's no doubt that writers groups are one of the most helpful tools in polishing your manuscripts. A good writers group will give you advice on what works in your piece and what doesn't, as well as share their tips on editing and publishing.

Obviously, every writers group is different. Each member brings his or her own style, personality and background to the table. Every group is run differently, with a different set of guidelines and critique styles. Writers groups can even vary in the way they prefer to format their manuscripts, as I have recently learned.

I belong to two critique groups, one online and one in person. Often, what one group doesn't catch the other will. The online group tends to look in depth at things like "Where does the plot not make sense?" and "Is this part believable?" The face-to-face group usually catches my typos and inconsistencies. A lot of times, what comes up in one group doesn't come up in the other. I can't imagine not attending one or the other at this point. Together, they make a great combination.