I can’t say enough about how important it is for a writer, or at least this writer, to take part in a critique group. The feedback I get from critique partners is invaluable. I sometimes think of my books as collective efforts. My settings take on smells and sounds. My characters begin to display mannerisms, express emotions, develop motivation. My chapter endings lead a reader to turn the next page. All this catalyzed by the insightful comments and questions I receive in the group.
Okay, I don’t agree with every critique and don’t make all the suggested changes. It’s my book and my vision. But I could not have developed as a writer without them.
Currently I am a member of two critique groups. One is for writers of children’s books and we are all members of SCBWI, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. The other group is new and open for more members. We meet weekly on Thursday afternoons. If you are in Santa Cruz, are serious about writing and getting published, and if you’d like to inquire about participating in this group, let me know.