"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us." —J. R. R. Tolkien

Thursday, March 29, 2007

What is the best Critique Group?

There are all sorts and styles.
  • Meet in person and read aloud with no take home work;
  • Meet in person, but only discuss; read outside of the meeting time;
  • Online critique group;
  • All writers in the group are in the same general genre;
  • Writers in the group are in various and diverse genres;
  • Groups meet once per week;
  • Groups meet once per month;
  • Writers are diverse in gender and race;
Any thoughts on what has worked well or not worked at all? How long have you been in a critique group? I've been in two. We read in the meeting at one, and outside the meeting at another. Although it's super helpful to hear your work read aloud, I think reading outside the meeting time works better. I also think joining a group where entire manuscripts are read initially and then critiqued would be helpful. Sometimes it seems so painful to go through chapter at a time (or 5 pages at a time) only to totally throw out those chapters when doing a full manuscript revision. I've thought about joining a genre specific online critque group, but have no experience with the online meeting thing.

2 comments:

Kelly said...

Hi PJ:

I'm in an online critique group I like very much. There are 8 of us, and only a chapter or so gets read a month, but still it works well and I like them all.

I highly recommend online. The gossip is diminished and actual work gets done :)

Jim D said...

I think diversity can be a big plus, especially if your characters are diverse. I think gender diversity can be a real biggie--in as much as I don't do edgy books, there are a lot of gender based perspectives that our characters possess. My critique group also has about a 50 year age span (I'm somewhere in the middle).

As my writing improves(?), I can see that a more genre specific group might be helpful (but I could never drop my original group!!!)

Jim