Stewart asked about our writing groups over on his blog, and C. S. Harris answered for the group that I'm in with her. Stewart also asked why our group stopped doing critiques, however, and I thought I might give my take on it. Others in the group might have additional views, but from my perspective there were several reasons.
1. One member of our core group was already in another group that did extensive critiques and didn't want to do them in both groups.
2. When our group first started out it was quite a bit larger than six people and only some members were actively and consistently writing. The non-writing members would tend to get the short end of the stick if we did critiques every week.
3. By the time we winnowed down to our core group, most of us felt that our limited time could be better used by discussing the larger details of writing, like characters, plot, etc., than by covering the nuts and bolts and specifics of a single piece.
4. Even though we don't consistently do critiquing, I think we'd all feel comfortable in sharing a piece of our work that we were having particular trouble with. I have several times, and have always got good feedback.
Under miscellania, I rough drafted my next column for The Illuminata yesterday and once more--and even more--I owe a debt to those of you here in the blogosphere. The piece is going to be on characters and discussions online from Sid, Stewart, C.S., Steve and Sphinx Ink were very helpful. Salud!