Things to consider in setting up a critique group:
Will you limit the number of people in your group? How many?
Will you limit it to a certain genre?
How many pages will you bring each time?
How often will you meet and at what time?
Where will you meet?
How will you read (at critique, at home, out loud, etc.)?
Is there a time limit for each critique?
How do you decide who goes first?
Will you edit line by line or only talk about the big stuff?
Will the sessions be moderated or unmoderated?
How will you provide feedback (written, verbal, one page/person at a time)?
Is your group open or closed to new members?
How do you handle requests to join your group?
Will all members be expected to write at the same level?
When critiquing other writers' manuscripts:
Identify yourself--put name & date on the manuscript for future referral
Provide both positive & negative feedback
Try not to belabor a point
Be diplomatic, remember critiquing is subjective
Be constructive--tell them why it doesn't work and offer improvement suggestions
Write everything you say on the manuscript
Only talk about the important points; the author can read your minor comments later
When having your manuscript critiqued:
Try not to take it personally
Try not to argue/defend your position
Ask for clarification if you don't understand
If more than two agree, consider their critique seriously
Remember, this is only their opinion
Read it, digest it, put it aside for a few days
It's your manuscript--change it only if you agree
Role of a productive critique group member:
Attend all sessions to provide you and the group maximum benefit
Participate--your opinion is valuable
Bring your work--put yourself on the line, too
Bring a polished product so the group can concentrate on the important stuff
Give the other members your best shot at editing
(Copyright Ó 1996 by Pam McCutcheon)
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