When I'm not working on my own Great Medieval Science Fiction Masterpiece With Neandertals, I spend a good deal of time critiquing other people's efforts. To this end, I'm part of a Yahoogroup called medieval_fiction_writers. It's an online critique group for writers of historical fiction, many of whom don't just write "medieval" fiction. Recently, I've been expanding my pool of critiquers, as time and energy permit, so to speak. In doing so,it's been an education. Critiquing someone else's work is, in my opinion, always educational anyway, for the writers are generally in various stages of writing and trying to get things published or polished. And it shows. I've had the experience of reading work that is basically "raw", a first draft or first attempt of some kind, and other work where the writing is essentially a finished product waiting only for some agent to pick it up or some publisher to publish it.And everything in between. I try to be helpful, and not too hard on the writers, for writing is a learning process, and a lifelong one, I think. I try to share what I know, and those who critique me do the same. I've learned a lot this way, and I think my writing style and technique have improved since I started writing this. It's been a long slog, and I"m still working on it. And so are the other writers I critique. This is the joy of it: you see a writer or writers develop, and hopefully publish something that many people want to read.
While my work isn't strict "historical fiction", I feel this group is broad enough to encompass anything that takes place in a historical period, and I appreciate that. And learning to appreciate the efforts of other writers, even if I wouldn't approach the subject the way they do, is part of my own learning process. So I look forward to see what other people are doing in their writing efforts.