Re: Writing Critique Group


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Posted by Caleyna on February 12, 2006 at 19:39:04:

In Reply to: Re: Writing Critique Group posted by Jade on February 12, 2006 at 17:53:18:

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: : : : : : : I wish I knew a good place to point you to. I have pretty much given up on crit groups because I have never been a part of a good one. Either there are too many people, too many rules or not enough honesty. I hear crit groups are extremely helpful when they work. I wish I had personal experience with that!

: : : : : : : Currently I belong to Just Write It, a yahoo mailing list for fiction writers. It is NOT a crit group, but it has a ton of great info for fiction writers. The owner of the list, Shirley Jump, is a widely published romance author and is really great about posting "how to" type of things. I know that's not what you are looking for since it's not a crit group but it's the only writing group I am a member of at the moment.

: : : : : : Hmm. Sounds cool. I'll have to look at it. :)

: : : : : : Part of the reason I ask is because if I had enough interest I'm not sure I'd mind starting one. Always works better with friends, after all, even I don't know most of you around here really uber well. :)

: : : : :
: : : : : What did you have in mind? I might be interested, but I'm kind of hesitant b/c I've been burned before. The last crit group I was in got kind of ugly. I believe in honesty (not mean spirited at all though) and one of the gals couldn't take honesty and the group fell apart after one round of submissions.

: : : : : Truly, I'm not sure how much time I would have to devote to a group right now. I wanted to really work on my writing this year, but it is hard to find the time with a baby in the house. Maybe this would be the push I need to figure out a way to start working on it.

: : : : :

: : : : Hmm.

: : : : What I said, pretty much, is what I would try to make. I'm shooting for a friendly atmosphere and serious critiquing. Try not to wreak havoc on someone's else's work - point out the positives! -but also give them ideas for improvement.

: : : : I don't know how, but I want to make sure I have mature writers in the group who can take criticism. Would kinda defeat the point of a critique circle, really, like the lady you mention. :)

: : : : With some luck it could work as well as I was on for about two years...
: : :

: : : When I crit, I like to give at least three postives (or more) and no more than two areas that can be improved. I figure that is enough for the person to work on. I ALWAYS list things that can be improved even if it is a brilliant piece of work. To me that's the whole point of a crit and I get irritated if the people just say "that's great! I love it!". That doesn't help me at all.

: : : I do crits because I want to help the other people improve and I want to improve. I would not want to be in a group with people who saw suggestions for improvement as criticism. To me they are totally different things coming from completely different intentions.

: : : I don't do picky grammar/spelling proofreading unless specifically asked. I will point out an error if the author is making the same error consistently, but otherwise I figure it is a rough draft and the author will take care of those issues down the road.

: : : How often would we need to submit something to the group and what would the lenght requirements be? I have a couple of WIPs that I wouldn't mind pulling out and dusting off and finishing.

: : : If it is not too intensive I would be interested in joining if you want me, after my speil. Before I commit, though, I'd like to see writing samples from the potential members (I'll submit a writing sample as well). I don't want to get into a situation where I don't have a lot of interest in what the other members are writing. I know that sounds kind of rude and I don't mean it to be. I just don't have a ton of time to commit so I wantto be motivated to stick with it if you do, indeed, start something up.

: : : Caleyna

: :

: : I definitely agree with this...all of it! It's like C read my mind or something. Weird. I've been in groups where people (well one person) took complete offense when they were critiqued which was ridiculous. Then, when it was their turn, they would be deliberately harsh in their own critique as revenge. After that, no one wanted to say anything one way or the other about his work or they would set him off. I don't see that he got anything out of it at all. Anyway, I certainly wouldn't expect anything like that but mention it because I experienced it the last time I was brave enough to join a group. *l*

: : A

: potentially I could be interested... but like Alle, I have serious issues with time and commitment, and I haven't touched a lot of my writing in a long time.

: The other thing is, anything and everything I write is long, like a small novel. I haven't achieved anywhere near a WoT-sized book yet, but most of what I have is about 120 thousand words (somewhere in the neighbourhood of 200 word pages, single spaced, I think).

: That's quite a time commitment to ask of someone ;-)

: Jade

When I've been in groups before, the novelists usually submit 3 chapters at a time (depending on length of chapters) so they get feedback in a more timely manner. That is what I would do if I joined this group.

I am *very* interested in joining a group if you put something together, Kiriath. Would you like me to e-mail you a writing sample?

I write YA fantasy mainly, though I also have an adut urban fantasy in the works as well.

I can definietly commit to one submission a month, and to doing one crit a month for each member assuming there are no more than six members.

I think it is so great that we are able to really hash out what a crit group should look like before we get started. I am finally, after all these years, learning the value of open and honest communication. It took me long enough to figure out!




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