Joining a writing group is probably the best thing I’ve ever done, in terms of improving my writing. Getting other people to read and critique my work has forced me to look at my stories afresh. It’s sparked new ideas. And, uh, it’s stopped me from making completely boneheaded leaps of illogic in my fiction. I am unspeakably grateful to everyone who has ever agreed to read my work, because, quite honestly, it was probably a bit of a slog for them.
However, the fact remains that having your story critiqued can bear some resemblance to walking across hot coals. (Should I cut down on my hyperbole? … Are you critiquing me right now?) Some criticism, in particular, is incredibly frustrating to hear. That’s because critique’rs are human and, therefore, deeply flawed.
Let’s take a look at some of the archetypes that make up every writing group: