Ok, so I'm pretty new to the online writing community. I really used to think that there were no resources out there for writers, but that was BEFORE I started looking for them. Seriously, people - resources abound! Tips, tricks, advice...whatever you need. Now, the only thing that you CAN'T find with the click of a button is something tailored to your exact needs as a writer. That's where other actual people come in. I've learned a new thing recently: Critique Groups and Beta Readers are NOT the same thing! See, I assumed that they were the same.
For the most part, a crit group works chapter by chapter (or at most a few chapters at a time). Someone in the group will critique and look over your work while you do the same for another member of the group. With beta reading, on the other hand, a few people might read your entire manuscript and give feedback.
What's the big deal? Well, if you're the kind of person who likes to write the whole thing and THEN have it looked at - beta reading is probably the way to go. If you're more like me and would like someone to read each part as you go along, then a crit group might be better.
OR - if you're REALLY like me, then you'll do both! I'm in the market for a crit group or TWO (or THREE) and some beta readers. I'm on mywriterscircle.com - and that's a good start, but anyone can critique your work there. I'm a paranormal romance writer - a critique from a non-fiction writer may not be the best thing for me. So, if you're in a crit group and you've got a spot open, please let me know! OR if you're interested in starting a group with me that'd be great, too! Or if you want to Beta read...I'll take what I can get!
Just shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org !
SO, WHAT WORKS BEST FOR YOU? DO YOU PREFER HAVING YOU MANUSCRIPT LOOKED OVER AS YOU WRITE IT, OR DO YOU PREFER TO WAIT UNTIL YOU'VE GOT IT ALL FLESHED OUT FIRST?