An important element in the writing process is having your work reviewed by colleagues to insure you’ve put forth your best writing. Joining a writer’s group to have your story critiqued is an ideal way to do this.
For those new to the process, critique can be an unnerving thing. You’ve invested time and energy into this project, your baby. To hold it up to public light for examination and judgement is frightening. Experienced writers know it is a necessary step, one essential before sharing your work with a publisher.
The purpose of a critique group is simple: to help each member become a better writer. The goal of each session is to take a writing piece and assist the author to make improvements in the composition.
The reasons for critique group are many and varied. As writers, we get so close, so involved in our work that we loose objectivity. A critique is the reality check. Outside, unbiased eyes see things we ourselves do not. Writer’s groups provide support and validation. They can see problems in composition or story logic that may not be visible to the author and suggest alternatives. They provide validation of you as a writer.
The thing to remember here is it is a critique, not a criticism. The people involved are like-minded writers, also sharing their precious work. The mutual goal of all involved is to move every piece to perfection and help each person to grow and mature as writers.