What’s So Great About a Critique Group? Part Two.

What’s So Great About a Critique Group?

Part Two in The Critique Group Series

Part One

Brainstorming. There will be times when you hit a wall—in your plot, with your characters, coming up with ideas for an article or story. Getting a fresh perspective and talking out your issues with the group can help you find direction. In addition, if more than two of three group members agree that you have an issue in your manuscript, you know you may really have a problem.

Meeting regularly gives accountability. Continually pushing forward requires discipline. One of the best ways to find discipline is through accountability. Find others who have similar goals, agree to meet often, and hold each other to that promise. The most productive groups meet weekly. If you’re not ready for that, try every other week until you establish a comfortable routine and then push for those two extra weeks a month.

Set your group size. I’ve heard the magic three. I’ve worked with groups of five. My group consists of seven. Limit the size of your group to the workload you can handle in the time you’ve allotted. If you have a larger group, divide into subgroups when you meet—but stick with the same people. Building a trust relationship is crucial to success.

Send out your pages ahead of time. Sending out your manuscript a few days before you meet allows for a good in-depth critique. Making this commitment to each other also helps accountability, gets you used to meeting deadlines, and strengthens editing skills. You can edit on the computer and use the comment boxes, track changes, or different colored font. You can print out the pages and write directly on them. Do what works for you as an editor.

Find the entire Critique Group Series Here:

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four 

What works for you? Leave a comment.

1 Comment

  1. All the things you mention are the reasons I belong to mine.

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