Part 4 Giving and Receiving Critiques: Respectful Behavior
By Natalie Bright
The personality of your group can dictate the overall benefit you receive from participating. The members may be the most creative writers you know, but they may not be who you need critiquing your work. You may need a “brainstorming” group. You may need a group with several grammarians, who are experts in the rules of English. Or, you might consider a “genre” group, in which all members write mysteries, for example.
Your ideal group might be one beta reader or an online group with hundreds of members. The critiques you receive might be via email or a weekly face-to-face meeting. What do you want from a writers critique group? Identify your goals and share them with the group.
Essential Keys to a Successful Critique Group:
- Leave your personal feelings at the door and listen with an open mind.
- Don’t use up valuable time explaining away and defending your work. In reality, this would not be an option when reviewed by an editor or agent. Just listen.
- Establish ground rules.
- Critique the work, not the author
- Be respectful of all work and individuals.
- Share professional goals: critique with the idea of moving each participant closer to their goals.
- Your work is not another writer’s work, and their work is not yours.