One of the most important things I’ve learned from my critique group is how important it is to read your own fiction aloud. Before the formation of this group, I never used to read my own writing aloud, but now I do it in my everyday practice. After I’ve finished a chapter or long section of writing, I will go back over it and, rather than simply reading it silently in my head as I would once have done, I read it out loud to myself.
This may seem silly at first, but it actually helps a lot with hearing cadence (especially in character dialogue) and fleshing out what works and what just doesn’t sound quite right.
I’ve come to really enjoy reading my work aloud, especially to the group, which is something that would have TERRIFIED me a year ago.
And that’s progress, y’all.