When you're starting out, you can often feel like you're working in a vacuum. Are you doing it right? How do you do this, or convince the reader of that? If you're in a critique group, you have to wait until you've completed a draft of your story before you submit it for feedback, and writers' groups aren't really the place for in-depth learning. If you feel you need more guidance while you're learning how to write fiction, consider taking a course, attending a workshop, or working with a tutor or writing coach. Finding a course that's right for you Don't know of any fiction writing courses in your area? The Internet has shrunk the world; type "creative writing courses" into an Internet search engine, and you'll be amazed at how many choices you suddenly have. Everyone from colleges to organizations to qualified (and not-so-qualified) individuals are offering some form of distance education -- courses delivered via snail mail, email, or through a web site. Colleges often offer continuing education courses in creative writing; to find out if you're lucky enough to live near one that does, check the web site or catalogue of your local college. The hard part isn't finding a course, but determining whether a course is suitable for you. Also look at what type of writing the instructor does -- journalism, business or technical writing? How much do you think they'll know about fiction? If they write literary fiction, consider how they would view a sample of your writing if you write genre or niche fiction (romance, science fiction, children's, etc.). It's likely that they won't know the nuances of your particular genre, and they might even consider non-literary work inferior. A biased instructor will not benefit you.