Why Should I Attend the Asheville Christian Writers’ Conference? Make the Most of Your 15-Minute Conference Appointments – Cindy Sproles 7 Things to Do NOW to be Ready When Writing Inspiration Strikes – Edie Melson You Need a Platform – Living A Story- Assignment 3 Redundancy: An Excessive, Oppressive, Pervasive Disease The One Sheet The Bio – The Fragrance of Who You Are Over-Edit? Imagery–When This is Like That Basic Writing and Editing Tips Blog or Website—Which One Does a Writer Really Need? – Edie Melson A Blog about Blogging My Blogging Affair – Terri Webster My GPS Writing Life: “Recalculating” – Elva Cobb Martin Is Your Blog Healthy? Conferences – Finding Direction Navigating Your Writing Success Why Your Writer’s Bio is Valuable Real Estate Rejection – Before You Blow Your Stack Evaluate Your Progress on the Writing Path – Edie Melson So You Were Asked to be a Beta Reader Writing the Perfect Bio Writers Call Out – Chicken Soup for the Soul 2014 Cleaning Guide for Writers (Critiques) Pray Uniquely Write Right – A Christian Writing Career Writers ADVANCE! Boot Camp 2015 Writers Call Out – Chicken Soup for the Soul The Conference is Over – Awe, Man! Chicken Soup for the Soul: Christmas in Canada 15 Minute Appointments – Cindy Sproles Break Out of Your Writer’s Cell – Denise Loock Writers Call Out Assignment 3 – Conflict in Every Scene? Writers Call Out – Chicken Soup for the Soul Assignment 2 – Gaining Word Count Assignment 1 – Picture Perfect Bio Writing as a Ministry Titles – Terrible or Terrific? How 5 Simple Tips Can Change Everything Rejection – Before You Blow Your Stack 10 Reasons NOT to Become a Novelist Commas – Bethany Kaczmarek Compounds Are Not that Complex – Bethany Kaczmarek Divorce My Words…Never! Get Your Grammar Fix (ed) – What Kind of Mood Are You In, Verb? Chicken Soup for the Soul: Living with Alzheimer’s & Other Forms of Dementia Find Your Blog’s Subscriber List and Schedule Email Notifications with Feedburner Writers Call Out – Chicken Soup for the Soul: Reboot Your Life And Objective Look at Subjectivity My Take on…Creating Villians – Part 2 Mike Dellosso My Take On . . . Villains, Part 1 – Mike Dellosso Chicken Soup for the Soul – Writers Call Out Touching the Spirit of Our Readers Writers Call Out – Chicken Soup for the Soul: Home Sweet Home First in Fiction – Characters – Aaron Gansky Critiques – No Pain, No Gain Making Time to Rest Writers Call Out The End – Saying Goodbye to a Story Writing’s Circle of Life Here a Tweak, There a Tweak, Everywhere a Tweak, Tweak What’s So Wrong with Waiting? Writers Call Out – Chicken Soup Books Emotion – Moving the Reader from Common to Uncommon Writers Call Out – Chicken Soup for the Soul Writing the Best You Can Bringing Security Blankets to Conferences—Tips for the Linus-Writers “Who Wants to Write a Story With Me?” CONTEST! – Mike Dellosso How to Get Amazon Reviews – Eddie Jones Freedom as a Holy Ghost Writer – Edie Melson My Worth Is NOT Determined by My Numbers – Edie Melson An Author’s Responsibilty – Cindy Sproles Call Out for Writers Connections: Social Media and Networking Techniques for Writers – Author Edie Melson Carolina Christian Writers Conference Chicken Soup Writing Opportunity The Tweet Life, Why Bother with Twitter? Angels, Miracles, and Heavenly Encounters – Writing Op How Writing an Article is Like Feeding a Baby – Edie Melson After the Conference…then what? Assignment 5 – Characteristics of a Lazy Writer Assignment 4 – TickyToes@urggggmail.com Assignment 3 – Pack a Punch When You Write Top Ten Authors Southern Writers Awards Boot Camp Free Subscriptions Assignment 2 – Vonda Skelton How to Make an Appointment Why I Should Make an Appointment Keep Your Image Current Top Five Blogspots Be an Encourager – Cindy Sproles Learning the Lingo – Part 4 – Appointment Etiquette with Agents/Editors Learning the Lingo – Part 3 – Publishing Terms Learn the Lingo – Critique Groups – Part 2 Learning the Lingo – Steps to Understand the Art of Writing and Publishing – Part 1 Preparing to Attend a Writers Conference Writing the Perfect Bio Don’t Forget! Writing Opportunity – Zookeepers Ministry Is SEO Dead? – Edie Melson What’s Holding You Back?

Learn the Lingo – Critique Groups – Part 2

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Critique groups should “grow” your writing

In part 2 of Learning the Lingo, we’ll briefly address critique groups. Here you’ll find necessary information to help you decide how and what type of group you’d like to be a part of.

My first encounter was with a Yahoo group called Kingdom Writers. I graduated then to WRITEHELP through another on-line group. As I improved I was invited to be a member of a private critique group. With each step of the process, I learned and moved ahead. The groups I participated in were kind. There are those who are not. So educate yourself. Know what to look for and what to veer from and you’ll find yourself with a network of wonderful people willing to help you improve your work.

Critique groups can be your best friend or your worst enemy, so before you engage heavily into one, think over these suggestions.

Where are you as a writer? Has your writing progressed enough that you can learn from a critique group? In other words, you should possess a good handle on the basics of writing. Once you have those down, stepping into a critique group can hone and polish your work.

Are you mature in your writing? Critique groups are meant to be “criticism.” If you are not mature and confident in your writing then a critique group will only serve to upset you. Maturity in writing means you can take the suggestions of your peers, weed out what is helpful, and discard the rest. It means not wearing your feelings on your sleeve, and coming to realize your peers are seeing with clear and distant eyes…eyes you may not be able to see through.

Does the critique group have varying degrees of writers? A critique group should house beginners, advanced, and published writers (if possible). The idea is that each person helps the other. Perhaps you are an advanced writer. You can help bring a beginning writer up a level and likewise with the published writer. They can bring the advanced writer up a notch. The published writer develops mentoring and teaching skills that will help them as they move into conference-level teaching.

If your critique group does not possess degrees of writers, your group will grow for a time then become stagnant because no one has anything new with which to challenge the group. Bring in various writers who can round out a group and continually keep growing its members.

Are the members tough but kind? Let’s face it. This is what gives critique groups a bad name…those few who become cocky and mean in their critiques. Writers’ groups are meant to promote camaraderie and a blending of talents, not become a brow beating session. If you leave a group feeling torn and broken, it’s time to evaluate your membership.

Solid writers’ groups will offer encouragement, help, and friendship. Its members will grow together and one by one, become published.

If there is not a group with a good mixture of writers, start small. Work online with other writers. It won’t be long until your local group will spread its wings. Read, read, read. Write, write, write. Between your group and your practice, you’ll soar.

Join us in Part three as we learn about Publishing lingo.

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