Recently, I decided to pursue a local critique group. It is not the first time I've been down this road. Finding the right group can be compared to finding the right partner; a good fit can be priceless but a poor one, destructive and emotionally draining.
For me, the members of my group need to understand my intended market. A person could have their masters in creative writing and have stories in multiple publications, but if every time they critique me they try to make my work into an abstract literary masterpiece, then they've missed the point.
I write YA which means the vocabulary and sentence structure needs to be accessible to a teen audience. It means there's a line that can't be crossed when it comes to sex, violence, or language. And it means that my story has to connect with people at a certain stage in their psychological development.
I believe that this knew group knows what YA is and isn't and will help me write for this market. I'm so happy to have found them.
As a bonus, the pastries they served at my first meeting convinced me that if I do not become a better writer for meeting with them, I will become a fatter one. It's the little things in life.
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